Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Gaming and betting

Media law experts Nick Fitzpatrick  and Frank Valentin lead the gaming and betting practice at DLA Piper, drawing on a high level of cross-sector expertise and regulatory awareness to provide clients in the gambling space with tailored advice.
Led by Andrew Woods and Paddy Whur, specialist licensing firm Woods Whur strengthened its gaming and betting offering with the hire of Christopher Rees-Gay, an expert in remote and land-based gambling operating licence reviews, from Pinsent Masons LLP in October 2021.

Gaming and betting in London

Bird & Bird LLP

The team at Bird & Bird LLP possesses ‘strong industry knowledge across multiple jurisdictions’, with particular strengths in regulatory work, data protection, and dispute resolution. The firm’s intellectual property and technology specialisms have also cemented it’s place as a go-to firm for sports betting providers. ‘Market leader’ Andrew Danson heads up the practice with expertise in gambling regulatory advice, and recently led the team acting for Allwyn on its successful application for the National Lottery licence. Simon Fielder advises online gambling clients on a range of M&A matters, while Robert Turner assists sports rights holders on their transactions with gambling operators. Recently made-up partner Elizabeth Dunn specialises in online gambling regulation and commercial gambling matters, including advising clients in relation to gambling sponsorship arrangements.

Responsables de la pratique:

Andy Danson

Autres avocats clés:

Elizabeth Dunn; Simon Fielder; Robert Turner

Les références

‘Depth of knowledge and ability to align legal opinion with practical implementation.’

‘Professional, approachable, knowledgeable and always there.’

‘Strong industry knowledge across multiple jurisdictions, with practical, responsive advice and insights.’

‘Andy Danson is well-connected and very well informed on the industry, and always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Andy Danson is generally knowledgeable and pragmatic, good at client care. Elizabeth Dunn is diligent and pragmatic.’

‘Andy Danson and his team act as if they are invested in the success of our endeavours. They are commercial-minded problem solvers, who have proved themselves invaluable to our business.’

‘Andy Danson is a market leader in the rather niche practice of UK gaming law, but can be counted upon to be responsive and provide a good level of partner engagement.’

Principaux clients

William Hill

Bet365

Flutter

Entain

Sazka Group/Allwyn

White Hat Gaming

BetBull

Arsenal FC

Better Collective

Metric Gaming

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Allwyn (part of SAZKA Group, Europe’s largest lottery operator) in winning the UK’s National Lottery Licence competition.
  • Advised William Hill on a major project involving the separation of the William Hill US and William Hill Rest of World businesses and the transitional services agreements between them, in preparation for the reported £2.2bn sale of the Rest of World business to 888.
  • Advised White Hat in its highly significant deal with Blueprint Gaming, which is key to White Hat’s growth strategy in the US.

CMS

Drawing on the firm’s full-service offering, the ‘well-resourced’ team at CMS has considerable expertise in multi-jurisdictional regulatory reviews as well as day-to-day licensing advice and litigation matters. Coupled with the firm's historical proficiency in new media and technology, the practice is perfectly positioned to assist clients in the expanding remote gambling sector. With vast experience in the gambling sector’, practice head David Zeffman regularly advises the biggest names on the market on strategic transactions and contentious issues. Anna Soilleux-Mills has been highlighted by industry experts as a key regulatory advisor, while litigation expert Tamsin Blow continues to assist clients with anti-money laundering and social responsibility matters. Senior associate Alasdair Lamb is also recommended for his work with numerous B2C gambling operators and B2B games suppliers.

Responsables de la pratique:

David Zeffman

Autres avocats clés:

Anna Soilleux-Mills; Tamsin Blow; Alasdair Lamb

Les références

‘CMS has a strong gambling practice, particularly in corporate.’

‘David Zeffman has vast experience in the gambling sector.’

‘Well-resourced with knowledgeable leaders, the CMS Betting & Gaming team provide practical advice and guidance.’

‘Alasdair Lamb is a clear thinker, excellent communicator and always delivers on time.’

Principaux clients

888 Holdings Plc

Anzo Group

AsianLogic

Avia Games

BetFred

Blueprint Gaming

BK Poker

Bragg Gaming

Flutter plc

Gamesys Group

GeoComply

Grace Media

IBID Group

IMG Arena

JKO Capital

Kindred Group plc (operator of 32Red and Unibet)

Kingmakers

LeoVegas

Livescore

Lottoland

Pollard Banknote

Pragmatic Play

Rank Group plc

Roxor Gaming

Royal Panda Limited

Skill on Net

Sporting Index

Sports Entertainment Acquisition Corp

Sports Information Services Limited (SIS)

Spreadex

Starting Price Regulatory Commission

White Hat Gaming

William Hill

XL Media plc

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Sports Entertainment Acquisition Corp, a US SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) on its combination with SuperGroup, the Betway group of companies.
  • Advised Avia Games Inc. (Avia Games) in respect of various gambling regulatory compliance considerations for the launch of two skill-based mobile gaming apps.
  • Advising GeoComply Solutions Inc. on its minority investments from US funds managed by Blackstone Growth and Atairos.

Harris Hagan

The ‘hugely knowledgeable and very approachable’ team at Harris Hagan has specialised expertise in advising gaming clients on corporate transactions, regulation compliance investigations, and licence reviews. Drawing on over three decades’ experience, practice head Julian Harris is a recognised expert on both national and international gambling laws. John Hagan jointly leads the team, regularly facing instructions from commercial law firms, private equity firms, and banks to provide expertise in respect of corporate investments and transactions. Bahar Alaeddini continues to advise the world’s largest gambling businesses as well as start-ups, governments, and trade associations, and associate David Whyte‘s industry knowledge is instrumental in his advice to clients facing enforcement actions by the Gambling Commission. Hilary Stewart-Jones supports the practice as a consultant.

Responsables de la pratique:

Julian Harris; John Hagan

Autres avocats clés:

Hilary Stewart-Jones; Bahar Alaeddini; David Whyte; Francesca Burnett-Hall; Jessica Wilson

Les références

‘Harris Hagan is undoubtedly the market leader in this sector – highly skilled, supremely well informed about the sector, always responsive and with a consummate ability to translate regulation into effective advice. It offers a comprehensive service to clients in the sector and its experience in wider governance areas enables it to recommend tailor-made solutions for its clients reflecting both internal resource, size of business and other key drivers.’

‘Julian Harris has a wealth of experience and is able to guide clients through complex issues. He understands not only the regulatory requirements of the industry but also appreciates business restraints; he is always able to provide solutions which meet not only regulatory requirements but also reflective of clients’ business environments. He is focused on delivery and works as an integral part of clients’ teams ensuring that excellence is the outcome.’

‘John Hagan and Francesca Burnett-Hall provide prompt and timely advice, and help keep us focused and on track on longer projects. They are knowledgeable and willing to provide challenge in a constructive way.’

‘They have in-depth understanding of the gambling industry and especially online channel. They also have empathy with the needs of the operator in what is now a highly regulated industry. They have individuals who have been in the sector since its inception and provide experience and pedigree in making the right decisions.’

‘They are hugely knowledgeable and very approachable. They talk clearly and in a manner in which lay people can understand. They get the boring detail right and manage the client well. Its almost as if they are an in-house team.’

‘Always available, always responsive and always with answers. From partner to associate, the competence and knowledge was exemplary, notable names being Bahar Alaeddini and Jessica Wilson – I would go as far as saying our dream team in gaming law.’

‘It is a super team which you sense really cooperate to the benefit of the client. They have a respectful and professional relationship with the regulators and managed to make very workable solutions. They are diverse and we really appreciated their support for their partner Bahar Alaeddini during maternity leave. They are extremely pleasant to work with and you feel very safe with them as advisers.’

‘We work with Bahar Alaeddini and John Hagan. It is longstanding cooperation which we value very much. Great industry insight. Super legal solutions and very service minded. You trust the advice you get and it is a pleasure to work with both. At the same time you get value for money.’

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting on numerous operating licence reviews of high-profile and international B2C gambling operators as the Commission continues to escalate enforcement action every day, which in some instances represents an existential threat to their business.
  • Extensively advising from a gambling law, licensing and regulatory perspective on numerous Commission investigations, including high profile online and land-based operators, tier 1 operators and publicly listed companies.
  • Advising a wide variety of B2C and B2B gambling businesses and investors (financial institutions, publicly listed companies, private companies and individuals) on mergers and acquisitions, including public takeovers.

Ince

With expertise in both regulatory and commercial matters, and a particular focus on the remote gaming sector, the team at Ince provide expert in-depth advice across numerous jurisdictions. Additionally, the broad practice regularly assists clients with anti-money laundering and data protection compliance, sanctions risk, and regulatory compliance audits. With a wealth of industry experience, Andrew Cotton expertly advises clients on licensing matters and regulatory breaches and enforcement. Practice co-head Philip Somarakis is a licensing specialist, often instructed by high-profile land-based and remote gambling providers seeking gambling licenses on an international scale. Andrew Tait jointly leads the team from Gibraltar, handling complex gambling regulation issues and commercial contracts. Alon Domb is also recommended for assisting gambling clients with M&A transactions, corporate real estate, and business affairs.

Responsables de la pratique:

Philip Somarakis; Andrew Tait

Autres avocats clés:

Andrew Cotton

Les références

‘The broad nature of the firm’s commercial practice and its international spread makes it an extremely useful partner when considering online gambling, which is essentially a global product.’

‘Andrew Tait has unparalleled knowledge and experience having worked in-house for a gaming company for 10 years. His familiarity with the very latest gambling Commission LCCP is remarkable and is used by him to great effect when dealing with the Gambling Commission.’

Principaux clients

Seminole Hard Rock International LLC

Genesis Global Ltd

Relax Holdings Ltd

Lottoland Services Limited

International Multi Media Entertainments Ltd

Casumo

eSports Technologies Ltd

Tonybet

Action Sports

TripleDot Studios

Synot Games Limited

Football Fan Index

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for FMR LLC “Fidelity” in its investment of CEI.
  • Acting for Seminole Hard Rock International LLC on a number of licensing and regulatory matters, GDPR and corporate matters.
  • Acting for eSports Technologies on the setup of their Gibraltar operations with a view to targeting the UK gambling market from there.

Mishcon de Reya LLP

As a go-to name for international corporate clients, Mishcon de Reya LLP handles the full spectrum of gaming and betting mandates including licensing and compliance work, regulatory issues and commercial matters. The team has also recently been active in a variety of corporate transactions in the sector and assisted DraftKings with the regulatory approvals required for its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming. Nick Nocton recently took over as head of the practice, which also includes Susan Breen, who advises global gambling operators, brand owners, game developers and software platform providers on corporate, commercial and regulatory mandates. Stuart McMaster, who excels in issues involving overlapping regulatory regimes, and regulatory specialist Niki Stephens are also key names to note.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nick Nocton

Autres avocats clés:

Susan Breen; Stuart McMaster; Niki Stephens

Principaux clients

Entain plc (including Ladbrokes and Coral)

William Hill

DraftKings Inc.

Kambi Group Plc

Catena Media

Aristocrat Leisure Limited

Pragmatic Play

Videoslots

Betting and Gaming Council

Gaming Innovation Group

Everi Holdings Inc.

Novigroup Limited

SPITCH GmbH

Tipico Group Limited

ASF Limited (trading as Angstrom Sports)

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Gameco LLC

Principaux dossiers

  • Assisted DraftKings in connection with a number of corporate transactions. In particular, advised on the gambling regulatory approvals required in the UK as a result of DraftKings’ acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc.
  • Provided intellectual property advice to Entain in relation to the use of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
  • Advising the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) on the proposed launch of a multi-operator data sharing scheme (known as the “single customer view” scheme), including providing advice on data protection and gambling regulatory compliance, and liaising with the Gambling Commission and the ICO.

Wiggin LLP

Regarded by one client as 'the preeminent advisor in the gambling sector,' Wiggin LLP's team handles a broad range of regulatory, corporate and commercial work. The practice is co-headed by Stephen Ketteley, an online gambling specialist with significant experience in gaming and sports betting; according to one client, there is 'no-one better to guide clients through the regulatory minefield'. Jason Chess jointly leads the team, advising leading industry players such as Flutter Entertainment as well as the Betting & Gaming Council. David McLeish, who previously held the role of general counsel at Playtech, has a wealth of industry expertise and regularly assists with significant transactions in the industry. Also recommended is recently promoted partner Chris Elliott, who possesses 'an encyclopaedic knowledge of UK regulation' and focuses exclusively on online gambling. The firm recently recruited senior associate Bethan Lloyd, previously head of legal (commercial) at William Hill.

Responsables de la pratique:

Stephen Ketteley; Jason Chess

Autres avocats clés:

David McLeish; Chris Elliott; Bethan Lloyd

Les références

‘The services provided by Wiggin’s Gaming and Betting Practice is outstanding, the in-depth knowledge of the UK gaming market and ability to connect with legal advisers globally brings a service that can attend to almost any gaming related query. Without doubt the best UK gaming lawyers available.’

‘Stephen Ketteley and Chris Elliott are quite simply the dream team, in-depth knowledge of the UK gaming market, coupled with EQ and a genuine desire to assist their clients, makes them the most approachable lawyers around.’

‘Wiggin’s Betting & Gaming team is the preeminent advisor in the gambling sector. They are experienced, knowledgeable, responsive and, above all, their advice is practical and actionable. They also have strong links with advisors worldwide, making them the one stop shop for advice on the global gambling sector. Highly recommended!’

‘Stephen Ketteley has vast experience in regulatory matters both in the UK and elsewhere, and there is no-one better to guide clients through the regulatory minefield. Chris Elliott has an encyclopaedic knowledge of UK regulation in particular, and offers practical advice that answers clients’ questions.’

‘David McLeish is a corporate specialist, but also has extensive regulatory and commercial experience. There is simply no-one better placed to guide a client through a complicated transaction or arrangement.’

‘Jason Chess is very experienced, and a long-standing valued advisor to the company. Chris Elliott is an up-and-comer, and recent partner with very good knowledge and responsive.’

‘The team is unrivalled in terms of skills and experience in the sector. A trusted advisor, with deep industry knowledge. I can’t speak highly enough of the team.’

‘Steve Ketteley, David McLeish, and Chris Elliott – I think I speak for all Wiggin clients in the B&G sector to say that we are delighted Chris has been promoted and it is thoroughly deserved. Bethan Lloyd recently joined the team and is one to watch.’

Principaux clients

Flutter Entertainment (including The Stars Group, Sky Bet, Paddy Power and Betfair).

bet365

Playtech

William Hill

Worldpay

Entain (including Ladbrokes, Coral, Bwin and Party Poker)

LeoVegas

Evolution Gaming (including NetEnt, Red Tiger and Big Time Gaming)

Gamesys Group (including Jackpotjoy)

Betway

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP acts for numerous leading names in the industry including betting companies, gaming operators, and payment services providers. The team regularly handles high-profile gambling regulatory and enforcement work, as well as anti-money laundering and compliance issues. Practice head Simon Airey specialises in global investigations as well as financial and regulatory crime, often working with major providers including Entain and bet365.

Responsables de la pratique:

Simon Airey

Les références

‘The team understand the betting and gaming industry and apply their knowledge to a very specific area that affects the industry and is often underlooked, being bribery, corruption and criminal finance.’

‘They are organised and efficient and on hand at the drop of an email and take the time to learn about the business function in order to provide focused and sensible advice.’

‘Simon Airey always lends his considerable weight and experience when necessary.’

Principaux clients

Entain plc

Entain Operations limited

William Hill

888

bet365

Playtech plc

Skywind

Memery Crystal (part of RBG Legal Services)

Described as ‘agile and commercial’, the team at Memery Crystal (see also Rosenblatt) regularly assists market-leading clients in both online and land-based gambling, lotteries, and governments on a range of domestic and cross-jurisdictional matters. Practice head Carl Rohsler has significant experience advising regulators around the world, as well as working closely on with high-profile law firms seeking advice on complex gambling matters. Lesley Gregory supports the team with expertise in capital markets and M&A work with public and private companies in the gaming sector. Commercial, IP, and technology specialist Jonathan Riley is also known for his deep knowledge of project structuring, shareholders’ agreements, and joint ventures, as well as anti-bribery and consumer protection regulations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Carl Rohsler

Autres avocats clés:

Lesley Gregory; Jonathan Riley

Les références

‘Carl Rohsler is the most knowledgeable gaming lawyer I know.’

‘It was a joy to brainstorm with him, and – notably – we each modified our provisional opinions having taken on board a contrary view advanced by the other. It is only rarely that I have enjoyed a partnership working with an instructing solicitor as productive as this.’

‘Agile and commercial with industry expertise/good understanding of the business and its needs.’

Principaux clients

ITV plc

Sorare SAS

Silver Point Capital

Leap Gaming

Jumbo Interactive/Gatherwell

DFS Middle East LLC

Papaya Gaming

The Health Lottery

888.com

STV Group plc

Telegraph Media Group

Gaming Realms (Slingo.com/Pocket Fruity/X Factor Games)

Fulham FC

Annexio (LottoGo)

Union Jaxx

Avantage Entertainment

Buzz Bingo

Goldchip Gaming

Metric Gaming

Meridian Bet

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising Silver Point Capital on the gambling aspects of the acquisition of the European and African casino businesses of Caesars Entertainment UK.
  • Advising STV, Jumbo Interactive and another client on the acquisition or disposal of External Lottery Manager operators.
  • Advised Sorare, the unicorn NFT football card trading company on a challenge to the legality of its operation by the UK Gambling Commission.

Northridge Law LLP

Northridge Law LLP‘s team has notable expertise in advising leading businesses in the gaming and betting sector, including major sports betting providers. Practice head Melanie Ellis  offers ‘brilliant’ regulatory, compliance, and licensing advice, including instruction on advertising and anti-money laundering procedures. With experience covering governance, corporate investments and M&A, Jon Walters handles commercial work for high-profile clients such as supporting Betway with its growing global sponsorship programme. Associate Tom Edmonds acts for leading B2C gambling companies, B2B games suppliers, and sports/betting integrity providers, while newly promoted partner Jamie Feldman has a particular focus on contentious and non-contentious employment issues in the sector.

Responsables de la pratique:

Melanie Ellis

Autres avocats clés:

Tom Edmonds; Jon Walters; Jamie Feldman

Les références

‘Very responsive and efficient.’

‘Melanie Ellis has always been very responsible and dealt with all matters very efficiently. It is always a pleasure to work with her.’

‘They have great expertise with regard to the Gambling Commission and lotteries.’

‘Melanie Ellis has offered brilliant and strong advice. With a complex understanding of the law, she advised me correctly with regard to questioning from the Gambling Commission.’

Principaux clients

Betway

SportsBroker

Evolution Gaming

STS.Bet

GridRival

Run It Once

BRS Golf (part of the NBC Entertainment Group)

Who Knows Wins

Sazka Group (known as Allwyn)

Argyll Entertainment

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Evolution Gaming on gambling licencing and compliance matters, including obtaining completing the regulatory aspects of a restructuring of the group’s licences.
  • Advised Run It Once on its acquisition by Rush Street Interactive, including assisting with due diligence and regulatory aspects.
  • Advised Betway on a wide range of sponsorship deals, including high profile international football sponsorships, NBA teams, NHL teams and a league-wide partnership with the NHL.

Pinsent Masons LLP

The gaming and betting practice at Pinsent Masons LLP is notable for its domestic and international gambling regulatory advice to operators, suppliers, offshore corporate service providers, and insolvency practitioners. Team lead and global practice head Diane Mullenex is a 'true superstar' - with a dual qualification in France, she regularly leads on major cross-jurisdictional regulatory issues in collaboration with the firm's international offices. Drawing on over 40 years' experience, licensing specialist Audrey Ferrie supports clients on a broad range of regulatory obligations, while Gareth Jones has considerable expertise in corporate finance transactions, including IPOs, and M&A deals in the gaming sector.

Responsables de la pratique:

Diane Mullenex

Autres avocats clés:

Audrey Ferrie; Gareth Jones

Les références

‘Nothing like the personal touch; going over and beyond on a consistent basis is second nature in my dealing with Pinsent Masons. Hugely diverse firm also. Makes me feel very comfortable.’

‘Diane Mullenex deserves a specific mention. Her breadth of knowledge, personal approach and her hunger to do the right thing lets her stand head and shoulders above industry peers.’

‘The team is unique as it is a true international team and has an impressive telecommunication background which you benefit from in the industry. The team is truly international, especially with the cooperation between France and UK which is unique and is central after Brexit. It is very diverse and we deal with super competent female partners.’

‘Diane Mullenex is a true superstar within the global gaming and gambling industry. She has impressive industry insight and is a very competent case handler, with those working on cross border matters benefitting not only from her being a French lawyer, but also from her long-time experience with the Middle East and Asia. Her network is unique, and her clients obviously benefit from this background and her high legal capacity. She is a true pleasure to work with.’

‘Good track record on commercial and regulatory issues, with the added support of a corporate team with a strong understanding of the sector, particularly in relation to public M&A.’

‘Diane Mullenex has been involved in the sector for many years and has an excellent understanding of market developments.’

‘Gareth Jones has good experience in gambling related corporate deals, particularly on public M&A mandates.’

Principaux clients

Zeus Capital/Berenberg

PLR Media (Playrix)

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Zeus Capital Limited and Berenberg on the AIM IPO of tinyBuild, Inc, a leading video games publisher and developer with global operations.
  • Devised a significant trade mark filing programme for PLR Media (Playrix) on some of their leading products. The advice spans the whole range of the life cycle of a new brand, from clearance searches, to international filings, opposition and cancellation actions, to monitoring and enforcing the brands.

Poppleston Allen

The licensing and regulatory specialists at Poppleston Allen are ‘experts in their field’, regularly advising major gambling operators in the land-based and online gambling spaces. Practice head Nick Arron acts for numerous national leisure operators, and has particular expertise in web based operations; Arron has also been supporting the bingo industry throughout the pandemic. Having recently made partner, Richard Bradley leads on complex licensing matters and has assisted in the development of bespoke compliance regimes for various operators. Imogen Moss and London-based licensing expert David Inzani are also recommended.

Responsables de la pratique:

Nick Arron

Autres avocats clés:

Richard Bradley; Imogen Moss; David Inzani

Les références

‘Poppleston Allen manage all of our licensing needs as pseudo employees. Their holistic approach is a meaningful benefit to our organisation.’

‘Nick Arron – The best description of him is that he understands the operators needs and supports our business from an operational stand point, making sure we achieve our objectives and are compliant in everything we do.’

‘Imogen Moss – A great communicator who works in an efficient and timely manner.’

‘Poppleston Allen are solicitors that speak plain English and not legalese. They take time to understand the requirements and tailor their advice to best suit the customer and the outcome. They are not a one size fits all solution company and take time to understand what is required and how best to resolve it.’

‘Nick Arron, Richard Bradley and Imogen Moss work brilliantly as a team when required. They put you at ease with their knowledge and professionalism through a friendly helpful attitude – always putting the client first and foremost.’

‘The partner we are dealing with is very professional, very knowledgeable, committed to dealing with any kind of questions that arise, and has a good feeling for the different interests of the different companies of our group without intervening in a biased way.’

‘The team at Poppleston are experts in their field and their licensing knowledge is invaluable. They are approachable and generally always available or readily respond to any communications swiftly. The are happy to discuss particular issues, some of which can be complex and offer their advice or recommendations on the appropriate action. Just really nice, professional team of people to deal with who assist with any matters, answer any queries and help with any challenges we may encounter.’

‘All of the team that I deal directly with for various items stand out for me for different reason, they all deliver an exemplary service. Nick Arron has without doubt been a great advisory support for me. Richard Bradley, who I work closely with on licensing topics is always on hand to provide invaluable advice and support.’

Principaux clients

Buzz Group Limited

Gauselmann Group

Bingo Association

Paddy Power Betfair

Bongo’s Bingo

MERKUR Casino UK

Bandai Namco Amusement

Bourne Leisure

Parkdean Resorts

Palatial Leisure Limited

City Gaming Limited

BACTA

Principaux dossiers

  • Ongoing advice and assistance to Merkur Slots UK Limited with its national expansion project for new bingo premises with an investment value of £450million.
  • Specialist licensing and regulatory advice to the Bingo Association regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP provides regulatory and commercial advice to a diverse client base including gambling and betting operators, gaming platforms, and financial institutions. Additionally, the practice provides licensing expertise to leisure centres, online providers, and land-based casinos. Associate director Jeremy Bark has taken over as practice head following the departure of former post-holder Craig Baylis. Bark is a licensing specialist with considerable experience dealing with regulatory enforcement activity by the Gambling Commission, and has appeared before numerous tribunals as a solicitor advocate with higher rights of audience.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jeremy Bark

Autres avocats clés:

Graham Shear; Nick Myatt; Benjamin Lee

Les références

‘They are efficient and very capable of holding small, medium and big projects with wide experience among staff.’

‘In all great businesses you need leaders, Graham Shear is just that. He is able to make quick decisions.’

Costigan King

With 'unrivalled' specialist expertise in the gaming and betting sector, the team at Costigan King advises industry clients on commercial transactions, regulatory and compliance issues, and intellectual property ownership matters. Firm CEO and solicitor advocate Arianne King heads up the practice with significant experience establishing complex offshore company structures in major gambling jurisdictions, and has recently been advising clients in the online gaming space on the growing interface with blockchain and cryptocurrency. King is supported by Lynn McCaw, an independent business law consultant, and associate Nadia Armah.

Responsables de la pratique:

Arianne King

Autres avocats clés:

Lynn McCaw; Nadia Armah

Les références

‘As a smaller firm, Costigan King is unrivalled in its legal knowledge, expertise and in putting their clients’ needs first. The firm stands apart from others with it’s magic circle standards whilst being competitively priced and making the client feel like a human being and not like an ATM.’

‘We have instructed them for several years, for corporate, commercial, regulatory and intellectual property advice and they are essential in respect of our relationship with the Gambling Commission. I would not hesitate to recommend their services.’

‘There is no one like Arianne King in the legal industry. She truly cares about her clients and can never do enough for them to get the results they want. Her direct approach and no-nonsense attitude makes her an asset to her firm and our business.’

‘Costigan King is in a league of their own in this sector. Very few law firms know and understand how to deal with this area of law.’

‘Arianne King always puts the client first and goes above and beyond to make sure the client understands the process. Her in-depth knowledge and vast experience in this sector and the law is invaluable. She always ensures that the clients’ needs, and expectations are met and always makes time for them. Her advice is always genuinely commercial, highly detailed yet digestible.’

‘The team are very personable and approachable whilst being professional. They are extremely knowledgeable and have great insights into the industry specifically licencing.’

‘Everyone that I have spoken to has been more than happy to help and impart their knowledge no matter how big or small the query may be. They have always taken time to explain the finer points in a manner that makes me feel listened to and understood.’

‘Arianne King is responsive and articulate. I have already recommended her to other operators and I will continue to do so.’

Principaux clients

Playbook Engineering Limited (formerly Two Up Digital Limited)

Star Racing Limited

Two-Up Agency Limited

Star Sports (on course) limited

Playbook Gaming Limited

A Jolly Consulting Limited

Les Ambassadeurs

RPM

Playmaker

Planet Bet Limited

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Playbook Engineering in relation to the white label contracts to ensure that the IP in the platform is protected, data protection, regulation and compliance, corporate governance and commercial contracts.
  • Advise Star Racing with corporate, commercial, regulatory and intellectual property advice to address all of its business needs and play a central role in respect of its relationship with the Gambling Commission.
  • Advising Les Ambassadeurs, an elite casino based in Mayfair, in respect of a dispute with a former member of the casino.

Fladgate LLP

Fladgate LLP ‘s practice is largely focused on advising gambling and gaming clients on commercial rights exploitation, corporate activity and fundraising, and complex litigation. With a specialism in eSports, the team regularly handles partnership agreements, sponsorship deals, and the drafting of tournament rules in respect of gambling regulations. Practice head James Earl  has significant credibility dealing with stakeholders on an international scale, while Alan Wetterhahn handles commercial work for online gaming platforms and B2B and B2C eSports providers. M&A specialist David Robinson and regulatory expert Alex Haffner are also recommended.

Responsables de la pratique:

James Earl

Autres avocats clés:

David Robinson; Alex Haffner; Alan Wetterhahn; Joshua Bennett

Les références

The Fladgate team has been a great support in terms of advice and work that we needed from them. Very high quality.’

‘Joshua Bennett is an amazing person and incredibly hard worker, he was always very quick to reply to request and has been always accommodating.’

‘Their team has a broad knowledge of the sector and are really proactive and helpful. They turn things around really quickly and I absolutely trust their advice.’

‘Josh Bennett and Alan Wetterhahn are amazing! I can vouch for both in saying they always provide top-notch services and are extremely helpful.’

Principaux clients

Guild Esports plc

Tripledot Studios

Ferox Games B.V., trading as Medal.tv

Platform Social Gaming Ltd.

Esports Insider

Stakester

Gfinity PLC

Playzido

SharedPlay

Silverback Gaming

NFT Investments PLC

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Ferox Games B.V., trading as Medal.tv, in respect of a number of major recent transactions, including its USD$1.5 million acquisition of the business and assets of Quarterback Inc. (trading as Fuze.tv) and its USD$4.2 million acquisition of the business and assets of Bad Panda Inc. (trading as GIF Your Game or GYG).
  • Advising Esports Insider, the UK’s leading eSports B2B and B2C publisher, and Platform Social Gaming Ltd., the operator of an eSports and gaming themed bar, in connection with a joint venture called the WFH League, a corporate eSports competition.

Hugh James

Working between the firm's Cardiff headquarters and London, the team at Hugh James is highly skilled at handling complex online and land-based matters with a particular focus on sports betting and regulatory work. Commercial head Aled Walters leads the team with significant expertise in advising on M&A transactions and high-value IP licensing issues in the gaming sector. Martin Jones heads the regulatory department, advising on gambling licensing issues and enforcement procedures by the Gambling Commission. Neil Paramore recently joined the team as a consultant, having previously held the role of CFO at Novomatic.

Responsables de la pratique:

Aled Walters

Autres avocats clés:

Martin Jones; Neil Paramore

Les références

‘Very commercial team, with great industry knowledge and targeted advice.’

‘Aled Walters is extremely responsive and provided exactly the right commercial high-level advice we were looking for. He focused on the key issues, allowing us to turn around a complex agreement with minimal time and changes to ensure that the deal was not lost and gave us a sufficient level of protection. He quickly understood our specific needs in the circumstances.’

‘Quick response, focus and attention to detail, no matter what the subject matter.’

‘Available at short notice and it is the attention to detail and our particular issues that makes you feel valued.’

Principaux clients

BetVictor

TCS John Huxley

Amelco

Superbet

Novomatic Services NL SV

Double Diamond Gaming (Rainbow Casino)

Development Bank of Wales PLC (in respect of its in-house charitable fund raising)

Bresbet

Admiral PLC (in respect of its in-house charity lottery)

Pentasia / Conexus Group

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising BetVictor on an urgent basis; a high-profile premier football team shirt sponsorship agreement.

Keystone Law

Regularly providing a service that is 'second to none', the advisers at Keystone Law are highly experienced in handling complex licensing review applications, as well as advising both online and land-based gambling sites on corporate M&A transactions. Sector specialist Richard Williams has key expertise in licensing, anti money laundering procedures, and social responsibility, and is regarded as 'reliable, helpful and an expert he is in the gambling field'. Stephen Rodd provides cross-jurisdictional tech-based commercial advice to e-gaming companies, and Niall McCann provides due diligence and corporate support for gambling transactions.

Autres avocats clés:

Richard Williams; Niall McCann; Lara Robson; Stephen Rodd; Nicholas Tall; Jimmy Desai

Les références

‘The Keystone team give a level of service that is always second to none. I use many law firms but dealing with Keystone is very straight forward and pain/hassle free. Nothing is too much for them and their advice is always to the point. The prices are always fair and delivery timescales are always swift.’

‘Richard Williams is not only a very reliable person, but someone that constantly gives advice without charging. There is a reason why he has so many clients. Always a helpful and a great person to be around too. I cannot stress enough how much of an expert he is in the gambling field.’

Principaux clients

Verdict MMA Inc

Papaya Gaming Inc

Jumbo Interactive Limited

CEGO A/S

Hungry Bear Gaming Limited

Elite Competitions

Kalooki Racing

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising Papaya Gaming on the regulation and categorisation of its skill games, with the aim of keeping the games out of the regulated gambling sector (due to the level of skill involved).
  • Advised listed Australian gambling/lottery operator Jumbo Interactive on a software licence application, regulatory and compliance issues, data protection, commercial and employment issues over the course of this year.
  • Advised Danish gaming operator CEGO A/S on its licensing requirements and regulatory issues relating to its launch of a gambling app and website in the UK.

Latham & Watkins

With a focus on online gaming and eSports, the team at US heavyweight Latham & Watkins offers M&A, licensing agreement negotiation, and financing advice to a broad range of clients. Commercial expert Mike Turner heads up the practice, drawing on three decades' experience advising clients in the gaming space on European and transatlantic equity fundraisings and acquisitions. Deborah Kirk regularly handles IP ownership and data privacy matters for major operators, including advising 888 Holdings on their acquisition of William Hill's non-US businesses, and Christian McDermott assists clients with regulatory compliance issues. Patrick Mitchell and Rachael Astin are also recommended.

Responsables de la pratique:

Mike Turner

Autres avocats clés:

Deborah Kirk; Patrick Mitchell; Christian McDermott; Rachel Astin

Principaux clients

888 Holdings plc

Playtika Holding Corp

Wargaming

Neo Games

Bessemer Ventures

Jawaker

Platinum Fortune LP

Ru-Net Enterprises Limited

Fandom Inc

Endeavour Entertainment

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Platinum Fortune on the sale of Jagex, a UK-based gaming company specializing in online multiplayer games (including Runescape), to The Carlyle Group.
  • Advised Endeavor Group on the acquisition of OpenBet, a UK-based company engaged in providing software to the sports betting and gaming industry.
  • Advising 888 Holdings plc on its agreement to acquire the international (non-US) business of William Hill at an enterprise value of £2.2 billion.

RPC

The gaming and betting team at RPC has a core specialism in advising interactive entertainment clients, including e-sports and online gaming platforms. Practice co-head Jeremy Drew is described as a 'great tactician, leader and strategist' - he regularly handles high-profile disputes, drawing on experience in licensing, and sports data and content matters. The team is jointly led by senior associate Josh Charalambous, who acts for B2B betting technology providers and sports betting companies. Commercial contract and licensing specialist Paul Joukador also supports the team.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jeremy Drew; Josh Charalambous

Autres avocats clés:

Paul Joukadour

Les références

‘RPC undoubtedly have considerable experience in the gaming and betting sector, a great team.’

‘Jeremy Drew is the doyen of the litigation department, a very experienced and down to earth team leader.’

‘Josh Charalambous is one to watch on the IP side.’

‘Strength in depth within the team; tenacious litigators who are very user-friendly and client-focussed.’

‘Jeremy Drew is a great tactician, leader and strategist.’

‘Josh Charalambous is exceptionally hard working, super bright, a pleasure to work with. Will surely make partnership soon and will do brilliantly.’

Principaux clients

Flutter Entertainment (owner of PaddyPower Betfair)

LeoVegas

Soft Construct

VBet

FeedConstruct

Game Digital

Principaux dossiers

  • Acting for Soft Construct in relation to High Court proceedings brought by Genius Sports concerning live sports data.
  • Advising a leading e-sports platform provider on gambling licensing requirements for free to play watch-along prediction games for competitive gaming competitions.
  • Advising OliveX on certain development aspects of its gamified fitness metaverse combining cutting edge technologies like NFTs with real-world fitness.