The inside track—insights into the media sector with Stephen Godsell

The inside track—insights into the media sector with Stephen Godsell

Today sees the first of our 'inside track' industry interviews. In it we chat with Stephen Godsell, group counsel & company secretary at the PA Group, the parent company of the Press Association:

How did you come to work in the media sector?

My background is as an intellectual property lawyer at a City law firm. As effective management and enforcement of IP rights is almost always of strategic importance to businesses in the media and technology sector, it was a natural fit for me to focus increasingly in this area—first in private practice and then in-house.

What attracted you to this particular area?

The media sector (particularly news media) plays a vitally important role in society, keeping the public informed and holding power to account. It is also undergoing fundamental structural changes, as it deals with the changing ways in which people use and interact with content of various types. This throws up interesting business and legal challenges, which in turn makes it a fascinating sector to be working in now. The central importance of intellectual property was an added attraction.

How does this fit into your career history?

I trained and worked as an intellectual property lawyer at Clifford Chance, where I represented media and technology clients among others. The work included resolving disputes around trademarks, patents and copyright, negotiating commercial arrangements and advising on M&A deals.

I was there for around six years, when an opportunity came up to move to The Economist Group. The group was increasingly focusing on developing its digital strategy, while also diversifying into a range of information, data and other businesses in the US

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