At Crafty Counsel, we regularly focus on getting to know more about members of our in-
house legal community. This week, we spoke with Sophie McKibbin, Director, Legal &
Business Affairs, Theatrical Marketing EMEA at Warner Bros. Discovery, who’s a member of
Lean Legal – our group for sole counsel or those working in smaller legal teams.
[Did you know we have different groups within our Community for in-house legal
professionals which have regularly scheduled virtual meet-ups and in-person events? Learn
more about the Crafty Counsel Community.]
A dynamic career path
Sophie’s career is a whirlwind adventure that spans both private practice and in-house. She
embarked on her legal journey at DWF Liverpool and qualified into the commercial and
intellectual property team in Manchester.
“I was about 14 when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer,” Sophie recalls. “On reflection, I’m
not sure why I was so set on that!”. Yet, her interest in the legal world ignited and she
pursued it diligently, studying law at Leeds University and later completing the LPC at BPP
Meeting Tony the Tiger and the leap to Warner Bros.
One of the highlights of Sophie’s early career was her time on secondment at Kellogg’s. “I
really enjoyed being in-house.” Sophie says. “I’m quite a curious person, and I really enjoyed
learning all about the business.”
She loved the experience and recalls meeting Tony the Tiger, plus Snap, Crackle, and Pop.
“I was so excited. I even got a photo with them.” However, Sophie’s in-house journey was
Six years ago, Sophie made the leap to Warner Bros. in London, starting in the Home
Entertainment legal team, covering content distribution and marketing. While her background
was primarily in commercial contracts and intellectual property, Sophie was a quick learner
and eager to dive into the world of media. She worked with a team of lawyers who, she
explains, were great to work with and helped her learn everything she needed to know. For
the past three years she has been responsible for the marketing and publicity activations for
Warner Bros. theatrical movie releases in EMEA, working closely with her LA based colleagues.
Barbie: a career highlight.
Sophie explains that working on the global marketing campaign for the recent Barbie movie
was one of the highlights of her career so far. Working closely with the global marketing,
publicity, events and brand partnership teams, Sophie’s role involved navigating complex
legal issues while ensuring the creative vision of the campaign remained intact. She explains
how the sheer scale and originality of the campaign was so impressive. From turning cities
pink, to partnerships with a seemingly never-ending list of brands. She vividly remembers
the excitement around the campaign, both in the office and amongst friends and family.
The Barbie campaign was a whirlwind of creativity and hard work and Sophie loved being
able to play a part in it. “It was really fun, but not without its challenges,” she recalls.
“Things were happening quickly; everyone wanted a piece of the Barbie pie.”
Life after Barbie and the challenge of upskilling
With Barbie in the rearview mirror, Sophie is now working on Warner Bros. upcoming
theatrical campaigns, with Aquaman 2 and Wonka releasing in December. She explains how
one of the biggest challenges she faced in her career is the need to upskill rapidly when
moving from one area of law to another. Going in-house meant understanding the business
inside out, including its terminology, drivers, and objectives. Sophie emphasises the
importance of asking questions and seeking clarity. She explains how it’s not about knowing
all the answers but having the curiosity and drive to find them.
Sophie’s journey is an inspiring tale of taking risks, embracing change, and finding a fulfilling
career path. She encourages junior lawyers to enjoy their careers. She believes that being a
lawyer can be fun and fulfilling. “Be curious and ask questions,” she advises.
“Enjoy the ride, and don’t be afraid to take chances, you never know where it might lead.”