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Friday, April 11, 2008, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Apple hires HP's top corporate attorney

Apple this week filled a years-long void in legal department, luring Hewlett-Packard's top corporate lawyer to head up its own corporate affairs department, Law.com is reporting.

Charles Charnas, deputy general counsel at HP, is said to be the first major acquisition of Apple's new general counsel Daniel Cooperman, filling a seat at the Cupertino-based electronics maker that has been vacant since Michael Wyatt departed in 2000.

Charnas will report to Cooperman and oversee the company's intellectual property and play a primary role in strategic acquisitions, among other things. He was elected Assistant Secretary at HP in 1999 and three years later promoted to Vice President and Deputy General Counsel.

During his 18-year tenure at HP, Charnas managed the $4.5 billion purchase of Mercury Interactive and also presided over the company's 2001 battle to acquire Compaq for $25 billion.

Charnas is also said to be a proud iPhone owner and avid guitar player. He can been seen in the below YouTube video playing a tribute HP's former CFO Bob Wayman at his retirement party.