Media giant News UK, formerly known as News International, has appointed National Geographic Channel’s former general counsel as its new legal chief.

Emma Moloney will take up the role of general counsel and become a member of the News UK executive.

Moloney had been interim GC since September following the death of Paul Chinnery, who was appointed general counsel in May 2012. Chinnery, who was 48, had been battling cancer for a year.

Before her interim appointment, Moloney was head of News UK’s commercial legal affairs. In her new position she will oversee all legal matters relating to the company’s editorial, compliance and commercial activity.

Moloney has worked at several law firms including Axiom, where her clients included online retailer Amazon, telecommunications giant Sky and security services company G4S.

She was also at international firm Allens in Australia, where she worked on the launch of pay TV channel Foxtel.

News UK CEO Mike Darcey said Moloney’s role ‘will be vital in fulfilling our aim to become the best-governed media company in the world’.

News UK, which publishes The Sun, The Times, and The Sunday Times, changed its name from News International in June 2013. The company said the new name and logo were designed ‘to convey a more coherent and logical identity for the new parent company across the globe’.

The change followed ‘fundamental changes of governance and personnel that have taken place to address the problems of the recent past’.