Legal Counsel - Warner Bros

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Closing On: Sunday, 26th May 2019
Category: Legal
Location: NSW
Job Type:
Full Time
Education: Young Lawyer

Job Description:

Primary Purpose of the Job:

The position is in the newly formed legal team for Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia Pty Limited (“WBITVP”). The position will provide legal advice and related support to WBITVP’s local production business in Australia.

The position will be responsible for and assist with all legal matters arising throughout programme production (from development through to broadcast, other exploitation, including digital and social media, and subsequent distribution) across a broad and dynamic slate of non-scripted and scripted programming (including documentaries, specialist factual, factual entertainment, game shows and “shiny floor” studio-based entertainment).

The position works in a small team based in WBITVP’s Neutral Bay office consisting of: (1) Director, Legal & Business Affairs, and (2) the position as Counsel, Legal & Business Affairs. The team is part of a larger team of lawyers within Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Warner Bros. International Television that are based in London and Burbank, California. 

The position will take primary responsibility for all the productions and deals on which the position is assigned, under the supervision of and directions from the Director, Legal & Business Affairs.


WBITVP is part of the Warner Bros. International Television group of production companies which currently operate in 15 countries around the world, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and UK (“WBITVP Group”).

WBITVP has the exclusive rights of all WBITVP Group television formats including non-scripted formats of all genres (including reality, factual, factual-entertainment, studio-based entertainment and game-shows) and scripted formats of key genres including, comedy, sitcoms and drama. Key non-scripted brands include The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Child Genius, First Dates, Little Big Shots, Supernanny and Who Do You Think You Are? together with scripted brands such as Gossip Girl, The Mentalist, Without a Trace, Pretty Little Liars and Impractical Jokers.
Essential Job Functions:

  • To draft and advise on agreements for the development and production of programming, including development agreements; format option or license agreements; commissioning or programme license agreements; production and co-production agreements; talent, presenter and other contributor agreements; access agreements, location, studio and production services agreements; and rights releases, permissions or licenses; and non-disclosure agreements.
  • To advise production executives on rights issues, clearance issues and compliance and defamation matters, including advising on compliance with the broadcasters’ codes of practice and policies.
  • To advise on and to assist with the preparation of production protocols and guidance notes for production teams and conduct production ‘set up’ meetings to advise teams in relation to key areas, such as child performers, privacy, foreign filming locations, foreign work visa requirements, work health and safety and editorial compliance. 
  • To assist with management of disputes, claims and complaints from contributors, broadcasters, viewers or other parties.
  • To assist with, draft and negotiate agreements related to the exploitation of ancillary rights including digital and social media.
  • To assist with structuring, drafting and negotiating co-production agreements and other bespoke agreements to enable WBITVP to take advantage of available local production funding, subsidies and tax rebates.
  • To liaise with the WBITVP Group’s rights admin and sales admin departments to ensure available programming rights are correctly recorded.
  • To advise on copyright, trademark and privacy law matters.
  • To advise and conduct due diligence on potential local partners and counterparties to ensure compliance with applicable anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws and trade and economic sanctions including the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, OFAC and EU sanctions.
  • To perform other related duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications/Work Experiences


  • 1-3 years post-qualification experience.
  • Experience in production or programme rights acquisitions essential.
  • Experience gained with an Australian production company, broadcaster or a major law firm preferred.
  • Experience and working knowledge of the Australian broadcasters’ terms of trade is preferred.
  • Strong background in copyright law and of the ownership of rights in content and underlying material is preferred.


  • Excellent academic credentials required. 
  • Qualified solicitor.
  • Competent in Microsoft Office 365, specifically Word, Excel, Sharepoint and Outlook.


  • Must be well organized, efficient and have ability to prioritize.
  • Must have ability to handle multiple tasks and meet conflicting deadlines in short timeframe.
  • Must have excellent attention to detail and ability to work well under pressure.
  • Must have excellent drafting skills.
  • Must have excellent communication skills and be able to explain complex issues simply, clearly and tactfully.
  • Must be able to show commercial acumen to apply law to reach commercial objective of the business.
  • Proven ability to negotiate around complex problems essential.
  • Teamwork: to be happy and willing to take on any matter however trivial or important in order that the team together can achieve its goals.
  • An infectious enthusiasm for the television sector.

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