James Gladstone, an 18-year veteran of Lionsgate and its predecessor companies, has been promoted to the newly created post of Executive VP and General Manager of business and legal affairs.

Gladstone has been a key executive in Lionsgate’s pending $4.4 billion acquisition of premium cable company Starz.

The promotion is part of his new multi-year agreement with the studio. He will to report to Lionsgate General Counsel and Chief Strategic Officer Wayne Levin.

“Jim is a respected negotiator, skilled litigator and a key member of our executive legal team,” said Levin. “He has played an integral role in the corporate and financial deals that have helped build Lionsgate from a small independent studio into a global content leader and major creative force in the entertainment industry, and we look forward to his expanded contributions in the years to come.”

Gladstone was a key member of the legal team that spearheaded Lionsgate’s acquisition of Summit Entertainment, Pop (formerly TVGN), Lionsgate UK (formerly Redbus Films) and Mandate Pictures. He recently negotiated the deal for Lionsgate’s Comic-Con HQ OTT platform with partner Comic-Con International: San Diego and is a key member of the legal team closing the Starz deal.

Gladstone manages litigation and dispute resolution for every department including copyright and trademark matters, participation audits and guild arbitrations. He also oversees risk management.

Gladstone joined Lionsgate in 2003 as part of the acquisition of Artisan Pictures. He is also the author of the biography of attorney Greg Bautzer, “The Man Who Seduced Hollywood.”