12 October 2016 - World Rugby has announced the appointment of Alistair Maclean as General Counsel.
Vastly experienced, with in depth knowledge of the global sports environment, Maclean will start his new role with the international federation on 3 January 2017 and joins at an exciting time for the sport that continues to experience record global participation and commercial growth.
Maclean, 41, will be responsible for driving forward World Rugby's legal strategies to provide the solid contractual, regulatory and integrity foundations to support and sustain a sport that is now played by more than 7.73 million people in 121 nations worldwide.
Maclean's extensive experience in sport began in 2000 when he qualified with Bird & Bird and joins World Rugby from ASB law, having previously served as Group Legal Director and Company Secretary at the Football Association in England. In 11 years at the FA, Maclean was responsible for managing all legal aspects of the multi-million pound media rights associated with the England team and other high-profile properties as well as overseeing a broad portfolio of litigious matters.
He also held the position of Board Director for the National Football Centre, overseeing the delivery of one of the world's top sporting facilities (St George's Park), and was part of the senior management team that integrated the FA with its subsidiary, Wembley Stadium, in 2009.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said:
"Alistair's exceptional track record and significant experience in the fast-paced world of sport is perfectly suited to World Rugby's strategic mission to strengthen the game's foundations to enable rugby to reach and inspire even greater numbers of new players and fans worldwide.
"Alistair joins a strong and dynamic management team at an exciting time for World Rugby and the game with participation and fan-engagement continuing to experience record increases, Rugby World Cup going from strength to strength and the Olympic opportunity having showcased the sport to new audiences worldwide."
"I'm a big believer in collaboration and I'm looking forward to working with the game's stakeholders as World Rugby continues to grow the sport globally. Sustainable growth is build on solid foundations and jointly we must ensure the continued protection and promotion of rugby's integrity in order that it thrives for the next generation.”
Maclean replaces Susan Ahern, who left the organisation earlier this year.