The Guardian splits legal group in two

The Guardian news and media (GNM) group are set for a massive restructuring of its legal department leading to expansion and the team splitting into two legal divisions, the newspaper announced today.

The newly-created divisions will be headed by Nuala Cosgrove, as director of editorial legal services, who will report directly to the editor Alan Rusbridger, and Sarah Davis, as director of commercial legal services reporting to managing director of GNM Tim Brooks.

GNM managing partner Tim Brooks said: “The creation of these two new divisions and our increased investment in legal services recognises the value we place upon this key area of work. We already have one of the best legal teams in the country and we are fortunate to be able to draw upon the talent and expertise of Nuala and Sarah to drive these two divisions forward.”

The in-house group will be divided into editorial and commercial services, with each section having a staff of six, including support staff.

The overhaul comes as the current legal director Siobhain Butterworth leaves the department to take over the role of readers’ editor from Ian Mayes in April.

Cosgrove joined the media group five years ago as the legal manager, where she manages the trademark portfolio and handles issues such as defamation and litigation. She qualified in 1996 at medial law firm Stephens Innocent and since then has worked as an IP litigator for law firm Davenport Lyons and as in-house counsel at Burberry.

Davis joined GNM seven years ago and was appointed head of commercial law in 2003. Also having qualified from Stephens Innocent in 1995. she went on to become legal counsel at technology company NDS Ltd.