Paramount cuts London legal team in global restructuring

Film-maker Paramount Pictures has taken an axe to its London in-house legal team, with the US company reducing its headcount in the city from seven to two.

The Los Angeles-based film and television producer has relocated its legal capacity to its California headquarters as part of a wider restructuring that has seen bring all of its global theatrical management arm under one roof.

Its seven-strong London-based legal team was originally axed completely, but vice-president for international legal and business affairs Brigit Rathouse was brought in earlier this year as the company’s only UK in-house lawyer. She previously held the same role for Paramount parent company Viacom.

The team is set to expand to two lawyers when an additional staff member is hired.

Philip Solomons, who led the larger London legal team, is understood to have been offered a role in in Los Angeles but left to form consultancy pSIBA. None of the previous London team transferred to California.

He was executive vice-president for business affairs and general counsel of Paramount’s international legal group, overseeing a team in London, Paris and Los Angeles.

US media reported last autumn that Paramount was bringing its global theatrical management group together in the Los Angeles studio.

A spokesperson for Paramount said in a statement: “As part of a strategic realignment announced last fall, Paramount’s international theatrical division was relocated to our headquarters in Los Angeles.

“At that time, there were seven lawyers working in the London office.  Those responsibilities were relocated to Los Angeles with our international operations earlier this year in order to keep the strategic entities of the company aligned in one location. Paramount will now keep two legal positions in London to work directly with our Los Angeles headquarters and with Viacom, our parent company. There are no plans at this time to expand beyond those two positions.”