Christie’s installs BBC legal chief as general counsel

Art auction house Christie’s has appointed BBC legal head Nicholas Eldred as group general counsel.

Eldred will be based in the company’s London office and oversee its executive team and worldwide businesses on matters of governance, risk and compliance.

He will also provide strategic direction to the legal department and provide legal counsel on major transactions and contracts, key corporate issues, intellectual property, competition, litigation and employment issues.

In a statement, Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy said: “We’re tremendously pleased that after a decade of exemplary work managing the legal affairs of the BBC, Nicholas has chosen to join us at Christie’s. His proven leadership abilities, keen legal and business insight and excellent judgment make him the ideal partner for our management team as we take our global growth strategy forward.”

At the BBC, Eldred led a team of 70 legal staff and worked closely with senior management to provide strategic legal, business and governance advice on all aspects of the BBC’s affairs, both in the UK and internationally.

Earlier in his career Eldred also worked as a corporate lawyer at Simmons & Simmons before moving to British Telecom (BT) as head of mergers and acquisitions, and BT Cellnet, where he held the role of director of legal and business affairs and company secretary.

The role of general counsel at Christie’s was previously held by Nick Deeming from 2007 until the end of 2010, when he left to head up the legal department of offshore drilling contractor Transocean (17 January 2011).