We understand the unique challenges that esports organisations face and are supporting clients with all aspects of broadcasting, sponsorship, marketing and venues, as well as advising on high-profile disputes and sports-specific regulatory issues. 

The Shepherd and Wedderburn esports team can help with a number of matters, including: 

Intellectual property 

Our team advises a number of international computer gaming and software development clients on a range of intellectual property matters. From employment and developer contracts through to high value publishing and licensing negotiations, our team understands the intellectual property issues arising through all phases of game development, launch and acquisition. Some of our recent experience includes: 

  • Advising on the acquisition of several UK-based video game developers. 
  • Advising a global video game developer operating in the UK, EU and USA on a range of intellectual property matters, from software licencing to contractual relationships with publishers and developers.
  • Advising a world leading facial image capturing company based in the USA and UK on contracts with major USA based industry players. 
  • Advising a UK based games developer on the international licensing of its “pay-to-play” and “free-to-play” games to global betting companies. 

Events and commercial contracts

Our team has extensive experience providing a wide range of support commonly required by clients organising large scale events, including in relation to ticketing, merchandise, construction and contract arrangements with suppliers and service providers. Our lawyers are accustomed to supporting rights holders negotiate broadcasting agreements, sponsorship arrangements and strategic partnerships to maximise the reach and impact of their event. Examples of recent client work include: 

  • Advising on legal and commercial issues arising from the cancellation of major sporting tournaments due to Covid-19 restrictions
  • Advising major sporting tournament on ticketing and merchandise agreements, service contracts and partnership agreements 
  • Advising national sports body on a venue agreement for the potential hosting of international matches 


International esports players and their personal or technical staff are permitted to visit the UK to participate in tournaments. For the purposes of their visit, players are classified as entertainers rather than sportspersons. We regularly advise on visit visa requirements and permissions and can guide visiting players and staff through the UK’s immigration rules.

We assist companies relocating or establishing a business in the UK, obtaining and maintaining a sponsor licence, and recruiting and retaining international staff coming to the UK to work for them.