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Alert general counsel first to leap to protect Rupert Murdoch from charging protester

Regardless of your view of Rupert Murdoch, you have to be impressed by the physical boldness and quickness of his interim group general counsel.

Janet Nova was the first person at Murdoch’s recent hearing in London to react to a protester’s approach. As the NY Times, July 21, 2011, put it, “She leapt to her feet and, clutching her iPad, tried to block the man’s reach toward her boss.” Moments later the better known of the one-two punch was landed by Wendi Deng Murdoch, who lunged out of her seat and landed a haymaker on the pie-wielding protester.

Nova was perhaps not quite at the level of Cleitus, who saved Alexander the Great’s life at the Battle of the Granicus in 334 BC, but it is symbolic (indeed, actual) of the general counsel’s role to protect the CEO (See my post of July 11, 2008: general counsel of InBev in photo striding along with CEO.). Nova, a 14-year veteran of News Corporation now serving as the interim GC, deserves praise at least for this act.