Whistler Partners is pleased to announce the placement of Stuart Irvin as co-chair of Reed Smith’s global video games and esports practice in their Washington, D.C. office.
Irvin joins Reed Smith from Covington & Burling, where he was the founder of that firm’s video games and esports practice.
Stuart advises clients on a wide range of intellectual property and commercial transactions, including joint ventures, strategic alliances and licensing agreements. He has worked extensively with video game publishers and developers on the in-licensing of intellectual property and on the creation of eSports leagues, including working with Riot Games to develop a franchise-based esports league in North America for the blockbuster game League of Legends. His work on eSports matters has included assistance in structuring the league to reduce risk to the parent company and the drafting of contracts with media partners, teams, players, sponsors, and other stakeholders.
Irvin was recognized in Variety’s 2022 and 2020 Legal Impact Reports as a top business lawyer working in entertainment and media, particularly for his role in advising Activision-Blizzard on the formation of the Call of Duty esports league, and Tencent for an Honor of Kings esports league. Irvin has written and lectured extensively on AI adoption at the enterprise level and has a particular focus on AI and video games.
The placement was led by Sean Burke, who said that "consumers are now spending more on video games than movies and music combined, but most law firms are behind on investing in the space. Stuart is a pioneer in video games and esports law, and more recently in AI law. Reed Smith's top tier Entertainment & Media Group is similarly forward=thinking, and I can't wait to see what Stuart and Reed Smith achieve together."
"On a personal note, this was a fun placement...video game partners are fun. I'm a huge nerd, video games and D&D growing up level of nerd. You think you understand what I'm saying, but no, I'm talking Bards Tale on Commodore 64 level of nerd. Super nerd. I'm proud to report that I finished Elden Ring 3 times with 3 different types of characters while representing Stuart. That level of nerd."