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In-house: Sarah Davis to leave legal director role at Guardian Media Group

Sarah Davis, group commercial legal director of Guardian Media Group (GMG) , is set to leave the company after seven years in the role, Legal Business can reveal.

During her tenure at GMG, Davis (pictured) worked alongside director of editorial legal services Gill Phillips. A prominent issue that Davis worked on surrounded one of the company’s most controversial exposés, when former CIA employee Edward Snowden leaked classified information from the US National Security Agency in 2013. A senior editor then destroyed computer hard drives containing copies of some of Snowden’s files.

Starting her career as an outdoor clerk at Stephens Innocent (now Howard Kennedy), Davis trained in intellectual property litigation and licensing at the firm between 1991 and 2000. Davis’ first major case was a dispute over the 1989 British short film, Visions of Ecstasy, the only work to be refused certification by the British Board of Film Classification on the ground of blasphemous libel. In 2001, Davis moved in-house with GMG as a commercial lawyer and has remained with the newspaper until now.

The GMG’s six-strong legal team spends roughly £300,000 a year on external legal services, with preferred advisers Greenberg Traurig Maher, Bristows, Cooley, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Olswang and Baker McKenzie among the mix.

In other recent high-profile in-house moves, Emma Slatter, Deutsche Bank’s former head of strategy, has agreed to join Visa Europe as general counsel to replace Niamh Grogan.

In her new job at Visa, Slatter will report to New York-based executive vice president and general counsel Kelly Mahon Tullier and European chief executive Nicolas Huss.

Read more in: ‘Client profile: Sarah Davis, Guardian Media Group’