EMI global restructure to include legal overhaul

EMI’s legal function is facing an overhaul as the company launches a worldwide restructure of its business at a time when it is the subject of a takeover approach from rival Warner Music.

EMI general counsel Chris Ancliff said the legal function would “play its part” in the restructure, at the same time as undergoing a thorough examination of how it operates.

“It may lead to a reassessment of what work we send out and what we keep in-house,” Ancliff told The Lawyer. “It’s all yet to be determined, but we need to see what makes sense for us to focus our efforts on, and what’s cost-effective for us.”

Ancliff said the review was not likely to bring the legal activities of EMI’s regional business units under his direct control.

“They’re at the coalface, drafting our agreements with artists, with third parties who use our music, and dealing with the IP issues,” Ancliff said.

EMI received the latest takeover approach from Warner Music on Thursday 2 March, which was rejected by the board. The offer of £2.60 a share valued the company at some £2.1bn.

The company’s chief corporate counsel is Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, while it also uses Addleshaw Goddard, Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, Mayer Brown Row & Maw and media industry boutiques Michael Simpkins and Russells.