Job Title: Business Affairs Manager
Department, Division: Business Affairs
Reports to: General Counsel, UK
About Sony Music Publishing
Sony Music Publishing, established in 1995, is the world’s leading music publisher. The company owns or administers a diverse catalogue of songs by iconic artist songwriters including The Beatles, Queen, Motown, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones, as well as contemporary songwriters like Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Olivia Rodrigo, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna and many more.
About the Department
Sony Music Publishing’s established and efficient Business Affairs Department are a fundamental part of the company’s success. The department is responsible primarily for supporting all A&R activity from a legal perspective and ensuring that the deals negotiated are commercially viable and legally workable.
The aim is to ensure that the company continues to acquire rights in musical compositions by way of legal assignments and licenses and, aside from drafting the standard publishing and administration agreements, to assist the company in structuring new types of deals such master representation rights and artist/producer management, production deals and PPL representation agreements.
The Business Affairs Department also supports the Synch and Licensing Team in their grant of licences to third parties of the rights held by the company.
The department deals with copyright disputes, probate issues and sample clearances (either when the company’s copyrights are being infringed/incorporated by a third party or where our writers have infringed/incorporated a third party’s copyright).
About the Role
Working within a team of professionals to provide an efficient in-house legal service to the business. The roleholder will
provide support to the General Counsel and Senior BA team-members as well as offering guidance and expertise to junior team members.
The roleholder will provide advice, prepare legal documents, support negotiations and provide solutions in all aspects of the department’s work. Partnering regularly with the UK A&R and Sync teams, colleagues from other SMP territories, external advisors and our artists.
What You’ll Do: (job responsibilities)
- Taking an important role in top priority signings.
- Drafting and negotiating exclusive songwriter agreements, product based (non-exclusive) agreements, assignments, print agreements, administration agreements, co-publishing (joint venture style) agreements, film and TV agreements, amendment agreements, licences for stage musicals, neighbouring rights agreements, library music agreements and new media agreements.
- Advising colleagues on legal and commercial queries in connection with the interpretation of contracts, royalty/financial queries and copyright issues.
- Managing certain contentious issues (pre litigation) and drafting and negotiation of settlement documentation
- Advising overseas affiliates with various commercial transactions.
- Non-publishing matters e.g. master use licences, recording agreements, software licences, confidentiality agreements and investment agreements.
- Drafting and negotiating controlled composition provisions.
- Due diligence in relation to possible catalogue/company acquisitions.
- Dealing with copyright infringement in conjunction with external solicitors (including attending overseas arbitration proceedings if necessary).
Who You Are: (skills/experience/qualifications in order of importance)
- Be a qualified lawyer with excellent negotiation and drafting skills (including experience negotiating and drafting music publishing agreements, as well as agreements and licences relating to synch, digital licensing, grand rights, production music, master rights, neighbouring rights and producer management).
- Ability to communicate effectively with people at all levels of the business
- An excellent understanding of the music industry – ideally from previous experience working in-house at a music publishing company
- A good judgement in rationalising arguments, excellent attention to detail and a proven track record in negotiating and concluding deals in a pressurised environment
- Effective at working with internal colleagues and external bodies to ensure the company acquires, licenses and protects rights on a sound commercial basis.
- Open-minded and motivated to recommend changes to processes and procedures where this would result in a more effective service.
- Ability to prioritise workload efficiently to ensure all responsibilities are met and delivered on a timely basis and open issues are followed through and resolved satisfactorily.
- Consult the VP of UK Legal and Business Affairs where appropriate to communicate issues, ideas or solutions, solve problems and ensure customer service levels are maintained.
- Flexible, effective and enthusiastic approach to the role.
- Continuously strive to deliver an effective service, looking for new opportunities and approaches to improvement.
- Individual prepared and motivated to be part of a changing environment with an interest in developing the role, skills and relationships.
What We Give You
- You join an inclusive, collaborative and global community where you have the opportunity to fuel the creative journey
- A modern office environment designed to foster productivity, creativity, and teamwork.
- An attractive and comprehensive benefits package including medical, life and income protection coverage, interest free season ticket loans and a comprehensive pension offering.
- Voluntary self-funded benefits like dental, travel and critical illness coverage.
- We invest in your professional growth and development.
- Summer Fridays.
- Employee Assistance Programme.