Apple has hired HP's top corporate lawyer, Charles Charnas.

Charnas has until now been deputy general counsel at HP. His Apple appointment is the first major recruitment on the part of Apple's new general counsel, Daniel Cooperman. Charnas will lead the corporate department, a position that hasn't been filled for seven years.

Charnas became head of HP's corporate, securities and mergers and acquisitions section in 1999 and served at HP for 18 years. He will report to Cooperman and oversee the company's intellectual property and strategic acquisitions.

"He's been known as one of the high-profile heavy hitter corporate lawyers in Silicon Valley for many years," Anna Marie Armstrong, a legal recruiter for Mlegal told Law.com. "It seems like Apple's at a point where they want to hire really senior experienced lawyers for their in-house department."

The new legal beagle is an iPhone owner.