The BPI has hired Kiaron Whitehead as its new general counsel, with effect from March 2008.

Whitehead will join the trade body after six years working as a media and entertainment litigator with the firm Forbes Anderson Free, where he represented clients including major and independent labels and unspecified high-profile recording artists, the BPI says.

"Kiaron is an outstanding lawyer with an excellent reputation for top-notch music litigation and negotiation skills," comments BPI CEO Geoff Taylor in a statement. "The BPI has an ambitious agenda of legal work for 2008 and beyond and Kiaron's appointment will substantially strengthen the BPI team."

Whitehead succeeds Roz Groome who joined NBC Universal earlier this year as VP, anti-piracy. Simon Baggs of law firm Wiggin LLP has since been working as the BPI's acting general Counsel.

"I am delighted to be joining the BPI at such an exciting, dynamic time," comments Whitehead in a statement, "and will be striving to deliver an excellent legal service to all of its members and helping British music consumers respect and value the music they listen to."