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GC Interviews

LaLiga has developed new technological advancements that allow us to target piracy in an accurate and efficient way.

María José López Lorenzo Legal director Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LaLiga)

image of María José López Lorenzo

Can you describe your career path leading up to your current role? In which year did you assume your current position?

I developed the main part of my career in the commercial department of EY (previously known as Ernst & Young) where I specialised in the area of dispute resolution. In 2013 I started working in LaLiga as a member of the legal department, and in 2015 I was appointed legal director and have held the position since then.

Can you provide the top three highlights of your in-house career and state how they have moulded you as a legal professional?

The evolution of LaLiga regarding the commercialisation of the audio-visual rights of the professional football competition in a collective manner for the first time in its history.

The provision of legal support of the internationalisation of LaLiga with the creation of affiliates and projects that contribute to the commercialisation of the audio-visual rights.

The development and implementation of legal strategies in order to protect the IP rights and audio-visual content of the competition.

As a legal professional the above highlights have made me realise the importance of inter departmental coordination in order to achieve goals and objectives and resolve problems. They also illustrate the necessity of adaptation in an ever-changing and challenging environment such as LaLiga.

What changes have you made to the workings of the legal department during your time in your current role? How has that affected the wider company?

In tandem with the growth of the company, as head of the legal department I have set up specialised areas/departments focused on the constantly changing and new requirements of LaLiga in a legal capacity over a very short period of time.

The new departments created in LaLiga receive a greater specialised legal attention that directly contributes to the strategic development of LaLiga and its affiliates on both a national and international level.

What are the most important transactions and litigations that you have been involved in during the last three years?

  • Litigation regarding the scope and reach of LaLiga competencies.
  • Anti-piracy legal measures (such as injunctions, criminal proceedings etc.).
  • Strategic sponsorship agreements on a global scale and new projects regarding digital/new technologies.

All of the above are key components of the global expansion of LaLiga as a global brand and content provider.

Are there any technological advancements that the legal team has adopted recently?

Regarding antipiracy policy we have been collaborating with other departments within LaLiga, such are business intelligence, audio-visual and Integrity, in order to reduce the volume of piracy (in particular in establishments such hotels, restaurants and cafes). LaLiga has developed new technological advancements that allow us to target piracy in an accurate and efficient way in the aforementioned establishments. For example, the collaboration of these departments combined with the use of this new technology provides a huge volume of evidence, allowing LaLiga to take efficient legal actions against infringers in a short period of time.

Which internal innovations or programmes are the legal team currently involved in?

Specifically for the legal department in order to manage the rapid increase in the number of contracts and internal procedures we need to implement different tools and solutions such as document management software, digital signature system or different database software according to the different legal areas of specialisation. Recently, one of the main targets is to reduce the volume of paperwork to improve working efficiency, and incorporating new digital software helps us to achieve this target.

Do you have anything additional you would like to add?

Working for LaLiga for the last four years has been an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience because of the unexpected and fast growth of LaLiga. This is a very interesting sector from a legal perspective due to the evolution of audio-visual content in the digital era and the way digital content is consumed. The rapidly changing nature of digital content and how users interact with said content obliges us to look for and provide new legal solutions to the challenges we face on a daily basis.