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In an interesting interview with Tencent’s General Counsel Brent Irvin, The Lawyer (in Chatty Man) reveals that:

For junior lawyers this means doing their duty can be fun. Irvin points out that as part of the training programme new staff members spend days just playing the online video games developed or distributed by the company.

That is to say, as I read it, a new lawyer joining Tencent will first undergo a training programme that will involve playing their online video games. Since Tencent owns riot, very possibly a new lawyer joining them could be playing League of Legends as part of their first on the job training. How cool is that?

And if this is true of Tencent, does that mean that a Valve inhouse counsel’s first task is to play dota 2, that sounds like a pretty good deal. And Blizzard’s lawyers would have to play D3 and… oh wait

But in another sense I suppose this shows how far gaming has come that new lawyers have gaming as part of their training program. And on the other side of the world, international athlete visas being granted by USA for people to play League of Legends professionally. Gaming related press releases showing up on wall street journal’s press release pages. On the financial side, it has been quite common for the games to show up due to the size of the companies. For malaysia, their minister of youth and sports tweeted congratulations for Orange’s performance at the Dota 2 The International for taking third place.

Gaming really has come a long way, and on many wide and disparate fields.

From playing part time, the increase in sponsors, korea’s phenomenon and now the huge prize pools of Valve and Riot have made it viable for quite a lot of people to dedicate their time in the pursuit of professional gaming. And then there are purchasing power parities being considered and globalization such as when someone took the economist hamburger index and compared the winner Alliance’s prize pool versus the runner up Navi in terms of hamburgers they could buy with navi coming out top as hamburgers are more affordable in Ukraine than in Sweden.

Still, that aside, it would be pretty good to have your first order of things to be playing games. Its like getting paid to play games, but in a different way.

More from the article:

Although based in Shenzhen, a technology hub in southern China, Tencent’s general counsel Brent Irvin finds himself travelling frequently, as the Chinese internet giant flexes its muscles beyond national borders. Irvin’s most recent trip was to the US, as his company promoted its mobile messaging app, WeChat, to the global market.

A competitor to WhatsApp, WeChat is an app for smartphones that allows users to send free texts, voice messages, images and videos. Irvin is a regular user, but free texts is not the only reason for his loyalty.

“Lawyers need to be close to the business,” he says. “I use all Tencent’s products because it’s part of my job to know them well.”

For junior lawyers this means doing their duty can be fun. Irvin points out that as part of the training programme new staff members spend days just playing the online video games developed or distributed by the company.

Since then Irvin and his in-house team have been involved in many of the company’s cross-border transactions including its acquisition of a 10 per cent stake in Russia’s internet company Digital Sky Technologies for $300m in 2010; the acquisition of a majority stake in Riot Games for $400m in 2011; and, most recently, a strategic investment in Activision Blizzard and collaboration agreements with Hollywood studios such as Warner Bros, Universal, Miramax and Lions Gate.

“Working in a Chinese internet company is not hugely different from working in a US one – issues facing the general counsel are similar, such as antitrust, liability for open platform third-party apps, copyright infringement and government-related issues, but there are differences around how to resolve these issues,” says Irvin.

“They’re also facing the same challenge. In both countries, law is playing catch-up with the internet. Leading internet companies are usually the first to test the law and set precedents that can affect the industry. It’s never boring.”

An example of Tencent’s role in helping to shape China’s internet law is its high-profile online monopoly dispute against Chinese antivirus software developer Qihoo 360. In April the Guangdong Higher People’s Court handed the first instance win to Tencent, represented by a team of in-house litigation lawyers, and ordered Qihoo, represented by King & Wood Mallesons’ China head of antitrust Susan Ning, to pay compensation of RMB5m. It is one of the first internet-related antitrust litigation cases in China and one of the first major disputes between large internet companies.

Although the in-house department has been growing fast, Irvin also values the role of external advisers such as Davis Polk & Wardwell, Morrison & Foerster, Paul Weiss and Wilson Sonsini.

You can read the entire article over at: http://www.thelawyer.com/in-house/in-house-interview/in-house-interview-chatty-man/3009081.article?cmpdate=Someone+get+Lloyds+a+coffee+machine&cmpid=inhou_1300513235&cmptype=newsletter&email=true

 

 

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