Universal Pictures rejigs UK legal department

Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPIE) has restructured its UK legal team with the appointment of a new director and head of legal and business affairs.

Melanie Laithwaite has been promoted to the position from the role of vice president of legal and business affairs.

Laithwaite replaces Andrew Hall, who was promoted to the newly created role of senior vice president of legal and business affairs at parent company NBC Universal International in March.

Sources say that Laithwaite’s promotion was a ‘natural progression’ once Hall had accepted his new role under Peter Smith, the president of NBC Universal International – a managerial position focused on supporting the corporation’s global growth.

Laithwaite’s new post involves providing key legal support to the electronic sell-through segment, which involves securing rights to electronic music and videos. She will also support the compliance unit, handle supply chain issues and support UPIE’s operating companies throughout the world.

Laithwaite’s previous accomplishments at UPIE include leading and closing the legal aspects of contractual discussions in the appointment of UPIE’s pan-European manufacturing partner ODS and the relationship agreements between UPIE and Sony for Universal Pictures Nordic.