Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has appointed Lesley Freeman as its Chief Legal Officer, replacing the departing Scott Packman.

Gary Barber, chairman and CEO of MGM, made the announcement Monday.

Freeman joins MGM from HBO where she served as senior VP of legal affairs. She’s relocating to Los Angeles from New York to oversee all legal matters on behalf of the company and reporting to Barber.

“Lesley is a consummate professional who is well respected in the legal community and has a deep understanding of the issues surrounding our ever-evolving industry,” said Barber. “We are thrilled to have her join the team and help continue the growth of MGM.”

Barber and Roger Birnbaum took over the top management posts at MGM in late 2010 following a prepackaged bankruptcy.

“I could not be more pleased to join Gary and the incredible senior management team at MGM,” said Freeman. “What they have accomplished is simply remarkable and the results speak for themselves.  I am really excited to jump right in as the company is so well-positioned for future success.”

Freeman spent nearly ten years at HBO as senior VP of legal affairs where she was responsible for the oversight of all legal matters in the areas of film programming, home entertainment/digital program distribution and domestic joint venture/strategic investments and M&A.

She worked previously as senior counsel in the entertainment, sports and media department at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles, where she represented major studios, independent production companies, television networks and financial institutions in the entertainment industry.

Freeman will succeed Packman, who is the outgoing senior executive VP, general counsel and secretary. He will be stepping down from his post in August after 14 years at MGM, having decided he wanted to pursue other career opportunities.

“Scott shared with me that he was interested in moving on some time ago and we appreciate his flexibility in staying on during a transition,” said Barber. “He has been a trusted and valued executive and we are sorry to see him go. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”