Maternity Cover – Senior Legal Counsel/TV Production (Scripted)

Department: Business and Legal Affairs
Reports To: Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs
Location: London, UK

A leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales.

The role of Senior Legal Counsel will report directly into the EVP, Business & Legal Affairs and will support the UK television production arm of Lionsgate’s UK business. The ideal candidate will be a lawyer with 2-5 years PQE and has experience (in a law firm or in-house) of all legal aspects of UK television development and production, specifically in relation to scripted drama. The role requires excellent drafting skills, a proven track record of sharp attention to detail and organisational skills. It also requires a self-motivated individual who has willingness to learn with a great ability to remain resilient in the face of challenges as well as being able to respond to the demands of the business and the Business and Legal Affairs team.

Key Responsibilities include:

  • Drafting, negotiating and finalising the full suite of television production documentation from development agreements with authors, writers and talent (offers to agents, option and purchase agreements, writing agreements (including treatments, pitches and full scripts), heads of terms, exclusivity agreements, contributor agreements, director agreements and any other talent agreements (including PACT/Equity templates) as well as development and commissioning agreements with broadcasters.
  • Drafting, negotiating and finalising co-production arrangements with partners and production finance agreements with broadcasters, financiers and distributors.
  • Familiarity with drafting and negotiating UK broadcaster terms of trade.
  • Liaising with colleagues in Lionsgate’s LA office as required.
  • Keeping abreast of and advising on agreements with PACT, Equity, WGGB and other relevant UK and US guilds for television production.
  • Responsibility for creating Lionsgate UK television development and production precedents and ensuring such precedents are kept up to date and in line with best industry practice.
  • Advising on the day-to-day development, production and compliance queries across many television projects, with a focus on scripted content. Typical queries include chain of title reviews, talent negotiations, rights issues, copyright and trademark queries and advising on broadcaster requirements.
  • Assisting other members of the Business & Legal Affairs team in relation to general legal issues with a media/entertainment focus (for example film development and production, content acquisitions, television licensing, competition T&Cs and advertising standards).
  • Ensuring all company policies and procedures are kept up to date because of changes in and to all applicable laws including bribery, anti-corruption, data protection etc.

Skills Required:

  • A lawyer with 2-5 years PQE;
  • A good understanding of UK television development and production gained working in a law firm or in-house;
  • Excellent drafting skills and experience of drafting all manner of development and production agreements, specifically for scripted drama;
  • Hard working, highly organised and thorough with strong attention to detail as well as ability to deliver consistent high-quality work;
  • Good communication at all levels (verbal and written) as well as the ability to communicate in a succinct manner;
  • Quick learner who is willing to adapt/be flexible as necessary;
  • Has good time management skills and the ability to manage a busy workload on multiple projects simultaneously on tight deadlines;
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently and use own initiative, good at problem solving, thrives on challenges and has a desire to be innovative to help drive Lionsgate business forward; and
  • Strong team player with the ability to build relationships with personnel at all levels and support other members of the team if needed.

We look for candidates who demonstrate the Lionsgate values: 

  • Collaborative – a great team player who works well alongside all stakeholders
  • Passionate – an ability to enrol, involve and motivate others with your ideas and plans
  • Innovative – a creative flair, with the ability to think differently and offer new solutions and ideas
  • Inspiring – demonstrate drive, tenacity and commitment to the job in hand
  • Integrity – remaining true to the company’s values and always acting with positive intent