Aileen Atkins is an attorney and enterprise advisor for businesses primarily in digital media and related software and emerging industries. She serves variously as outside legal counsel (often as general counsel), general strategist, business development resource and skilled negotiator. Aileen applies her legal skills and business experience with a constant focus on developing opportunities and finding solutions that will serve her clients’ business interests. Toward this end, she enables clients to refine business models and product lines, define and implement licensing strategies and hone investment pitches to enhance their ongoing prospects for success and profitability; she works with management and product leads to facilitate relationships and craft business deals to enable market entry and promote commercial initiatives; and she architects and/or negotiates business combinations for clients, such as asset deals combined with key person employment arrangements.
Aileen’s experience with digital media and technology companies includes structuring and negotiating business relationships such as content licenses, distribution arrangements, marketing deals and technology partnerships. She has represented clients in various industry-wide efforts, including statutory publishing negotiations in the US and Europe and world-wide standard-setting for consumer rights to digital video. In addition, she has negotiated a wide variety of marketing and technological integration deals for businesses, and has developed and implemented licensing and distribution strategies and policies related to content, publishing, privacy and customer relationships for music and video.
As in-house General Counsel, Aileen has handled a broad array of legal matters such as M&A activity, securities law matters including SEC filings, disclosure and compliance, litigation, real estate, insurance, intellectual property, employment issues, corporate governance and other legal issues. Additionally, Aileen has served as in-house liaison to a public company Board of Directors. In that role, she was responsible for the due diligence, structuring, negotiation and execution of the sale of several companies, and played an instrumental role in the integration process in all areas of the business. Aileen also served as head of Human Resources, responsible for ensuring that key talent had been identified for succession and business success, and architecting compensation to promote retention of key talent in the digital arena.
Aileen is currently Co-Chair of the Business Development Working Group of musicbiz.org (and serves on its Legal Steering Committee). She also was Best Buy’s representative on the Board of DECE (the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem) and the Board of the Digital Media Association, where she played a primary role in negotiating the first industry settlements between services and publishers for compensation related to the digital distribution of their music in the UK as well as in the US. Aileen is also a co-founder of Women in Digital Media, a professional networking group of over 1000 women executives throughout the US.
- Best Buy, Co., Inc
- Napster, Inc.
- Universal Music Group
- Atlantic Records
- Latham & Watkins LLP
- Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude
- University of Pennsylvania/The Wharton School, BS, summa cum laude
- Numerous speaking engagements throughout the US and Europe over the past fifteen years, primarily covering topics related to digital media and technology, startup strategy and business approach, music-related copyright issues and international/cross-border digital rights
Associations and Activities
- Business Development Working Group, musicbiz.org (formerly NARM), co-chair
- Legal Sector Steering Committee, musicbiz.org, member
- Digital Media Association (DiMA), former board representative (Best Buy and Napster)
- DECE (Digital Entertainment Content Ecosytem), former board representative (Best Buy and CinemaNow),
- Women in Digital Media (2006), a professional networking group of approximately 1000 women executives throughout the US and Europe, co-founder
“New York Metro Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers, 2015