Also known as
Business affairs executive, chartered legal executive, compliance manager
What does a legal affairs executive in the creative industries do?
Legal affairs executives specialise in particular areas of law and carry out similar tasks to solicitors. In the creative industries, they advise on matters ranging from copyright agreements for songwriters to the designation of conservation areas for the heritage sector. The exact scope of their work varies depending on where they are employed.
In broadcasting organisations, legal affairs executives are responsible for drafting agreements about programmes being commissioned, where filming will take place and the selling of rights to other broadcasters or platforms.
In theatres, they advise on matters ranging from agreements with actors, ticketing, alcohol and entertainment licensing through to disability discrimination.
For music publishers, legal affairs executives draft agreements with musicians, advise on music copyright and draws up licensing deals.
In heritage they are concerned with the listing of buildings, planning permission, health and safety and access.
In art galleries, they handle contracts with artists and intellectual property as well as contracts with staff, health and safety and access.
Whatever the sector, the job of a legal affairs executive is to know the law that affects the particular creative industry and be able to apply it on behalf of the organisation.
- Dominic Jones - Director of legal and business affairs @ Universal Music
- Intellectual property lawyer and partner - Career Insights (Careers in Law)
- Copyright and fair use explained by a lawyer
What’s a legal affairs executive in the creative industries good at?
- Communication: explain the law to everyone that needs to understand it
- Analysis: unpack complicated issues and set them out clearly
- Writing: draft clearly and concisely
- Law: know the law as it relates to the particular creative sector
- Understanding creativity: appreciation of and passion for the sector in which you're working
Where can being a legal affairs executive take me?
All major organisations need lawyers. You could end up being a key player of a major broadcaster, for example, contributing to its success. Or you might choose to focus on particular sector, like fine art or craft, and become an expert offering your services to individuals creatives. It can immerse you in a creative world.
How do I become a legal affairs executive in the creative industries?
A degree in law is a good place to start, but there are other routes too. You could also do an apprenticeship or take a CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice.
For further information about how to qualify as a legal affairs executive go to: