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Lucinda Williams, one of Vivendi Universal's top lawyers and director of legal and business affairs at Universal Pictures, has stepped down to join Clintons, her main external legal adviser.
She joins as a consultant, although she will head up a newly-formed audio-visual department in the 17-partner firm. According to Clintons' Andrew Sharland, the main relationship partner for Universal Pictures, Williams is not linked to the firm's relationship with the film company. "Lucinda's move was initiated by her, not Universal Pictures or us," said Sharland. "This was not a result of tripartite discussions between Clintons, Lucinda and Universal Pictures in any sense." However, Sharland does expect Williams to join him in managing the firm's relationship with Universal Pictures. "I wouldn't be surprised if, when Universal Pictures rings us with a query, Lucinda is asked to take the call," he said. Williams has spent most of her legal career in-house. Before her role as director of legal and business affairs at Universal Pictures she was head of legal at Polygram. She moved to Universal Pictures before Polygram became part of the Universal stable of companies. Williams' long career in-house is the main reason that she has not joined Clintons as a partner. "Lucinda has spent most of her career in-house. It wouldn't be fair to impose the long general commitment of partnership on her at the moment," said Sharland. According to Clintons sports partner Philip Stinson, Williams was hired for her personal connections rather than her inside knowledge of Vivendi Universal. She brings three new clients to Clintons: an artist, a television production company and a film production company. The three clients are not part of Vivendi Universal, although for reasons including ongoing litigation, they cannot be named. "No lawyer has greater connections in the film industry than Lucinda," said Stinson.