YouView finds new head of legal at Virgin Media

Digital TV provider YouView has turned to Virgin Media for its new head of legal, pulling in Virgin’s assistant general counsel Toni Vitale for the chief role.

Vitale, who worked at Virgin Media for three years, fills the shoes of former legal chief John Davidson-Kelly, who left the BBC-backed service for Osborne Clarke in November (2 November 2012).

Prior to Virgin Media Vitale worked at IBM as senior counsel, a role he took up after heading the service’s legal function at Fujitsu. According to his Linkedin page he also held roles at DLA Piper and Clyde & Co, where he was head of IT and telecoms.

Toni Vitale
Toni Vitale

A spokesperson for YouView, which is backed by major TV channels and broadband providers, said that no further legal hires are in the pipeline. The company did not comment on its external legal advisers, though Field Fisher Waterhouse is expected to remain a key adviser for YouView, having played a lead role in its creation (27 September 2010).

YouView has recently been involved in a trademark battle over its name after the High Court found it to be “confusingly similar” to a service operated by telecoms company Total (15 November 2012).

Virgin Media, meanwhile, has been in the headlines this week for its $23.3bn (£14.9bn) takeover by US group Liberty Global, which saw US firms Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Shearman & Sterling among the list of advisers (6 February 2013).

Its former general counsel Scott Dresser resigned last August, a little more than 18 months after taking on the role (2 August 2012).