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News UK recruits Kingsley Napley partner McBride as general counsel

Rupert Murdoch-owned media giant News UK has recruited high-profile Kingsley Napley partner Angus McBride as its general counsel (GC), just months after its decision to re-hire former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks as chief executive.

McBride will join News UK in early April and serve as a member of the executive team. He replaces current GC Emma Moloney who is departing at the end of January for a role yet to be announced.

Cited as ‘first class’ by the Legal 500, McBride successfully defended Brooks for offences arising from a investigation into phone hacking by the News of the World in 2014. Other high profile clients included former army intelligence officers in Lord Stevens’ investigation into collusion in Northern Ireland between loyalist paramilitaries and state security forces, and advising the chief executive of Innospec following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into international corruption.

Moloney joined News UK in 2013 and was made GC in May 2015. In her role she oversaw all legal matters relating to editorial, a new compliance structure and the company’s commercial activity. Previous in-house roles included stints at Sky and the National Geographic Channel, where she was GC.

In a statement, Brooks said: ‘When I first spoke to Angus last autumn about joining us in this capacity, he was reluctant to give up the work that he loves. I am thrilled that he has decided to join us as he is always ten steps ahead and has a huge capacity to grasp quickly the full spectrum of issues. I have come to trust him implicitly and believe that News UK will benefit from his legal expertise, wise advice and strategic approach.’

For more coverage on the hacking scandal, see Shock and Flaw – is Leveson workable?