Daily Mail publisher splits legal function following departure of legal director

The internal legal team at Associated Newspapers have been split into two groups, focusing on commercial and editorial respectively.

Harvey Kass
Harvey Kass

The newspaper group has made the changes in the wake of group legal director Harvey Kass’s departure last year (22 November 2012).

Kass oversaw the entire operation as head of legal for 17 years, but Associated will not directly replace him in a like-for-like capacity. Instead the group, which produces the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro, has divided the legal function into commercial and editorial legal teams.

The commercial side is led by group legal adviser Dan Feldman and Spencer Davis, with Liz Hartley heading the of editorial legal services department.

Hartley appeared at the Leveson inquiry in January to discuss the group’s clash with actor Hugh Grant, who was accused of making “mendacious smears” by linking the Mail on Sunday with phone hacking.

Hartley, a former media litigation head at RPC, moved in-house at Associated Newspapers in 2008.

Associated Newspapers is a division of the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), which is the media conglomerate based at Northcliffe House, Kensington.

The Lawyer also understands that the trust is not currently looking at appointing a global general counsel. For the time being it will continue to instruct external counsel, with its divisions, such as Associated Newspapers and Northcliffe Media, relying on in-house teams.

The Lawyer asked the DMGT and Associated Newspapers for a response, but both declined to comment.