Virgin Enterprises appoints new head of legal and IP after departure to Reckitt Benckiser

Virgin Enterprises has appointed a new head of legal and intellectual property (IP), following the departure of the former postholder to Reckitt Benckiser.

Bill Budd, a senior IP lawyer at the company, was promoted to the leadership role in June after former head of legal and IP Charlie Everitt left to join consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser as head of trade marks.

Virgin Enterprises – which is part of the wider Virgin Group conglomerate – owns, protects and deals with the licences of the Virgin brand.

Budd now oversees a team of six lawyers that deal with the enforcement of the IP rights and domain names associated with Virgin and its commercial licensing.

Before moving in-house to Virgin, Budd spent almost five years as an associate at Slaughter and May.

Meanwhile, in his new role at RB, Everitt is now working with former BP general counsel Rupert Bondy, who joined Reckitt Benckiser as general counsel and company secretary earlier this year. Everitt – who was previously global head of IP at Japan Tobacco International before joining Virgin Enterprises in 2012 – is also a former Simmons & Simmons associate.

Virgin Enterprises uses Virgin’s main legal panel, which comprises Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills, Macfarlanes, Bond Dickinson, Bird & Bird, Dentons, Harbottle & Lewis and Burges Salmon. Virgin, which keeps the lineup under ongoing review, reappointed all eight firms in 2014 following a process that was not open to pitches from other law firms.