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Esports has emerged as a mainstream entertainment industry and continues to grow explosively. As the various esports ecosystems develop, we help endemic and non-endemic clients to grow and protect their business and navigate the legal challenges.

At Charles Russell Speechlys, we are in the rare position of having established teams of experts providing specialist legal advice across gaming, sports, technology and media sectors. Our esports practice has developed from our longstanding work in these areas providing a rounded breadth of legal services to clients in the esports ecosystem. We work with a number of esports teams, game publishers, technology providers and businesses investing in the sector.

Our gaming practice advises on, and negotiates, the full spectrum of games related agreements, including licensing deals, development and publishing agreements, end user licence agreements, merchandising and all forms of rights exploitation agreements. We have also advised on numerous investments in and business sales of gaming companies.  

In sport, we have an industry leading team advising governing bodies, major clubs, elite athletes, event owners, brands and agencies and advise on the full range of issues in the sector including investments, sponsorship, rules and regulations, media rights, IP and financing.

We bring this expertise together to help businesses execute their commercial strategies within esports. This often involves helping non-endemic businesses, including brands and organisations from traditional sports, navigate the unique ecosystems of each game title and creating the legal frameworks within which to operate. We also advise native esports businesses from start-ups to established teams.

We offer esports clients access to sector specialists across the full range of legal services they may require from Corporate, Commercial, Tax and IP to Real Estate, Employment, Litigation and many more.

Our expertise

  • content licensing and clearances
  • esports player contracts
  • agreements with content creators and influencer marketing arrangements
  • development / services agreements with tech providers
  • sports data collection and exploitation
  • sponsorship and seizing wider commercial opportunities
  • GDPR compliance and privacy policies
  • IP registrations and brand protection
  • compliance with consumer protection legislation
  • take down procedures and UGC policies
  • corporate structuring, shareholder agreements and tax advice
  • immigration advice
  • full range of integrity services and rapid response capabilities.

Recent experience

  • advising a number of UK-based esports teams on matters including player contracts, contractual disputes and brand protection
  • advising an esports business on IP licensing arrangements with a major sports governing body for the series of virtual tournaments using an official game title
  • acting for a leading talent agency on entry into and the establishment of a joint venture to create a new esports-focused talent agency
  • advising a number of major sports bodies on their gaming / esports strategies, including game development licences.