One of the leading lawyers in Wales has been appointed as the new Company Secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union Group.
Gareth Williams, the Senior Partner of Hugh James, was unanimously confirmed in the role by the full WRU Board of directors.
As Company Secretary he will be responsible for ensuring the rules of corporate governance within the WRU are complied with and standards of financial and legal practice are maintained.
He will attend WRU Board meetings and the Group's Annual General Meeting to offer advice and guidance to directors and representatives of all the affiliated organisations.
Mr Williams will continue in his senior role at Hugh James and carry out his Company Secretary duties in an honorary capacity.
Hugh James has a long standing professional relationship with the WRU and has recently offered legal advice to the Union on several important and high profile matters.
Gareth Williams has maintained a close, professional relationship with the WRU Group for almost two decades as lead solicitor to the union and has acquired expert knowledge about the organisation, its operational structure and systems of corporate governance.
He became Senior Partner at Hugh James in 2005 and was previously head of the company's Business Litigation Division. He is regarded as an expert in sports law and substantial commercial litigation.
A Welsh speaker he is also a trustee of the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust and a Governor of the University of Glamorgan.
The Chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union, David Pickering, said: "We are delighted that Gareth has agreed to take on the role of Company Secretary to the WRU.
"The union will benefit from his expertise, knowledge and mature, intelligent counsel which I am certain will serve us well as an organisation going forward.
"The member clubs and affiliated organisations must be assured that the constitution of the WRU is honoured and protected at all times and Gareth is the ideal candidate to fulfil the role of guardian of that corporate governance."
The Group Chief Executive of the WRU, Roger Lewis, said: "During my time at the WRU Gareth has proved to be a trusted professional colleague and good friend of the organisation.
"He is a highly respected lawyer and his counsel is always based on sound legal knowledge combined with a finely tuned intellect and common sense.
"He is always calm and reasoned in his advice and is very experienced at operating alongside the most senior executives and directors in very high profile organisations."
Gareth Williams said: "I am delighted to have been asked to become the Company Secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union.
"As well as my strong professional ties with the WRU I have a close affinity with rugby so I am looking forward to being able to serve the union in this new role.
"I have an excellent legal and administrative team working with me at Hugh James so I am confident I can free the time to fulfil the WRU role with the energy and focus it deserves."
He replaces the late Mike Jefferies, a close personal friend, who died suddenly last year after joining the WRU as Head of Legal Affairs in 2007 following a successful career with Hugh James.
Gareth Williams takes up the unpaid role of Company Secretary with immediate effect.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.