Arsenal hires former MTV GC as first legal chief

Arsenal Football Club has appointed former MTV lawyer Svenja Geissmar as its first general counsel.

Geissmar has spent the last three years working as a legal consultant, but prior to that worked at MTV European Networks (MTVEN) where she was promoted to general counsel in 1997.

While head lawyer at MTVEN she had a place on the senior management board and was also responsible for the company’s CSR activities.

As revealed by The Lawyer earlier this year, Arsenal began its hunt for an in-house lawyer in May (11 May 2009).

The football club has never previously employed an in-house lawyer and had used Slaughter and May for all its legal needs. The firm advises on both corporate and transfer activity.

A growing number of Premier League clubs are employing full-time lawyers. In April this year, Manchester City hired Shearman & Sterling corporate associate Simon Cliff as its head of legal (27 April 2009).

Geissmar’s arrival coincides with a new chief commercial officer Tom Fox and head of people and operations Trevor Saving. She starts work on 21 September.