United Biscuits man makes crunch decision to move to Viacom

United Biscuits’ (UB) head of commercial law Ian Haslegrave has quit the UK’s biggest biscuit manufacturer to join Viacom.

Haslegrave is due to leave UB on 3 January to begin his new role the following day as European legal director for business and legal affairs at Viacom Outdoor, the advertising contractor owned by the media giant, which also controls MTV.

Although Haslegrave is not joining Viacom until early 2005, he is already planning to review the company’s relationship with its external advisers. Currently, Viacom’s principal law firm is Linklaters.

Commenting on his reasons for quitting UB, Haslegrave said: “Viacom Outdoor has good growth prospects.”

He joined UB nine years ago and is the number two lawyer in the company’s 10-strong legal function. He has been in his current role for three years.

In his new position, Haslegrave will report to the European chief executive Tom Goddard, as well as to the US general counsel of Viacom Outdoor.