Veteran entertainment lawyer Chris Brearton has been named chief operating officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he’ll help oversee MGM’s business operations, business development and strategic growth initiatives.

“I’ve worked very closely with Chris for more than a decade on a myriad of deals,” MGM CEO Gary Barber said in announcing the hire. “He has been my most trusted advisor during this period and I am thrilled he will be joining MGM.”

Brearton has experience in mergers and acquisitions, film and television financing deals, media rights licensing and strategic and joint ventures. He joins MGM at the end of the month from Latham & Watkins’ Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice, where he served as managing partner of the firm’s Century City office.

For nearly 20 years, Brearton’s represented MGM in a number of capacities — including MGM’s acquisition of Hearst’s, Mark Burnett’s and Roma Downey’s interests in United Artists Media Group, after which Burnett and Downey joined MGM’s senior management team; and the acquisition of the pay television network EPIX.

Before joining Latham & Watkins, Brearton was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers and began his career as an accountant at KPMG in Los Angeles.