Terra Firma instigates EMI legal review

The EMI Group is to undertake a review of its entire legal function following private equity group Terra Firma’s acquisition of the struggling music label in May.

The move, which will involve a review of EMI’s 90 lawyers and paralegals, comes as Terra Firma attempts to make the company more cost-efficient.

“We’ll be reviewing the global legal function depending on what Terra Firma wants,” said EMI general counsel Chris Ancliff. “We’ll be looking for cost efficiencies. This will include a re-examination of the balance between external and in-house lawyers, the levels of qualifications among staff and also the possibility of bringing in lawyers from other industries.”

EMI has longstanding relationships with panel firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Mayer Brown, and Ancliff stressed that there was no intention to scrap the two firms. However, Weil Gotshal & Manges may gain a place on the new panel after it advised Terra Firma on the EMI acquisition, Ancliff said.

Since going private EMI has halved the size of its group-level legal function due to the reduction in its public company-related work.

Terra Firma, which plans to sell EMI in 2012, has instigated a £100m cost-cutting exercise.