Lionsgate Hires Former Sony Pictures Exec Audrey Lee for Dealmaking

Audrey Lee Lionsgate  -P 2016
Courtesy of Lionsgate

The studio legal affairs veteran will serve as executive vp and deputy general counsel under Wayne Levin.

Lionsgate has tapped former Sony Pictures Entertainment exec Audrey Lee to negotiate M&As under key studio dealmaker Wayne Levin.

Lee, as executive vp and deputy general counsel, will also tackle legal issues for Lionsgate’s SVOD channels and digital initiatives, location-based entertainment and marketing and promotions.

Her hire follows Lionsgate's recently partnering with Liberty Global and Discovery Communications after the two conglomerates aligned with John Malone each purchased a 3.4 percent stake in the studio. Lee oversaw legal affairs for distribution at Sony Pictures, most recently as senior vp legal affairs.

"Audrey’s corporate legal experience at the major studio level and fluency with intellectual property matters and content distribution worldwide make her a tremendous asset to the Lionsgate team," Levin, chief strategic officer and general counsel, said Thursday in a statement.

"As we continue to expand our global footprint, her relationships and expertise will help facilitate our growth and evolution," he added. Besides the Liberty Global and Discovery deals, Lionsgate also recently invested around $200 million in unscripted TV producer Pilgrim Studios and in expanding digital assets.

The studio is also the subject of persistent speculation around a possible merger with Starz as Lionsgate gets deeper into business with Malone.

Lee joined Sony in 2001 as an associate counsel and was promoted to assistant general counsel three years later. She worked at idealab! and the law firm of Latham & Watkins before joining Sony.