Claire Chapman (pictured), the general counsel (GC) and company secretary of the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) has left the company after almost five years, Legal Business can reveal.
Chapman was appointed in September 2012 and was responsible for DMGT’s legal and regulatory, M&A programs, contacts, corporate projects, effective governance and board management. She also led the group’s governance, risk and compliance (GRC) network and chaired the group’s corporate responsibility committee from November 2013.
It is understood that Chapman is taking some time out and will look for a new position in the summer. The media group, which is home to the Daily Mail, Metro and Mail online, is expected to look externally to fill the role.
Chapman, who was included in the 2015 GC Powerlist, led the transformation of DMGT’s legal division as the trust’s first-ever legal executive as part of an internal legal restructure in 2012.
The lawyer’s work highlights include guiding the company through major M&A deals, including online property website Zoopla’s £1bn initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. DMGT was a majority shareholder in the company. She also worked on the £220m disposal of regional news publisher Local World to Trinity Mirror in 2015.
Chapman was the lead lawyer on a number of material projects for the media group, including the establishment of a joint venture for, and subsequent disposal of, the group’s regional newspaper assets and its restructuring in 2013. This involved a court-approved scheme of arrangement.
A former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer lawyer, Chapman previously served as GC and group company secretary at international automotive distributor Inchcape for over five years. She was also EMEA GC for Thomson Reuters, where worked for more than 11 years.
DMGT, led by chief executive Paul Zwillenberg since June 2016, manages a number of multinational companies with up to £2 billion total revenue. It provides information, news and entertainment for businesses and consumers.