Sony BMG appoints new head of legal

The top UK legal job at music and entertainment company Sony BMG has changed hands after respected long-serving lawyer Alasdair George left to launch his own consultancy.

Michael Smith takes over the role as senior vice-president of legal and business affairs, having been promoted to the role internally.

Smith took over the eight-lawyer team, which has an average annual legal spend of around £200,000, at the beginning of October.

While at Sony BMG George used Lovells for general commercial work, instructing real estate partner Jackie Newstead, and Clintons music litigator Andrew Sharland for contentious matters.

CMS Cameron McKenna handles the company’s pension plan work after winning a beauty parade four years ago.

George joined Sony Music in 1994 as business affairs manager from London firm Compton Carr, where he spent eight years.

By 2000 George had been promoted to Sony Music’s top legal position and was on the council at the British Phonographic Industry.

Sony Music Entertainment entered into a joint venture with BMG Entertainment in 2004, becoming one of the big four record labels, along with Warner Music Group, EMI and Universal Music Group.

UK artists Lemar, Will Young and George Michael are all signed to the label.