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Publishing house Bloomsbury has recruited Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) star media senior associate Maya Abu Deeb as its first-ever general counsel.
Abu Deeb, who will also be company secretary, was dramatically drafted in on an emergency secondment from RPC to protect the secrets of the last Harry Potter book prior to its worldwide launch last year (www.thelawyer.com, 20 July 2007).
The senior associate was instrumental in assisting Bloomsbury's own legal department in stopping stolen extracts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from appearing on the internet before publication.
Acting company secretary Ian Portal confirmed that Abu Deeb will be joining the publisher, saying: "Maya has a longstanding relationship with Bloomsbury. Having her on board will help strengthen our internal legal functions."
David Hooper, RPC partner, said the firm was sorry to lose Abu Deeb, but was delighted that she was joining a company of Bloomsbury's calibre. He added that Abu Deeb had worked for Bloomsbury in the past and that the company will remain a valued RPC client.
One RPC insider added: "Maya helped to cement RPC's good relationship with Bloomsbury and with her as general counsel we're hoping that we can keep improving our ties with the publishing house. So in a way we're not looking at this as losing a talented lawyer, but as fortifying a relationship."