On Tour II / LC VII updates

On Tour II / LC VII updates

Good morning, wherever you are!

In today's issue, we catch up on the conference news, confirm the program, and announce the preliminary results of Legal Challenge VII, where 4 teams have progressed to the oral pleadings (and we have a few surprises). We also look in more detail at the moot court's judge panel, which features some of the loveliest people from the industry's legal community.

On Tour II's key art

The Limassol conference got its key art, reflecting the island's rich history and its modern flag. You will find it on the attendee bags, notebooks, badges, and running shirts. We published a story of how we developed it: here. If you're attending the event in April, we hope that you will find a chance to visit Kourion (a short drive away from the venue) to see the original Roman mosaic that inspired this logo.

On a related note, we've produced a limited run of enamel pins with the dove of peace from the key art. They will be available at the conference (for free) while the supplies last – you can grab them at the same table where you will pick up your badges. They look like this:

On Tour II's registration continues

We are now over 200 counsels and law firm lawyers on the attendee list, and will stop the registration at 220 (same number as in Warsaw last year). If you want to attend and haven't registered yet, please apply here. Because of the limited number of seats left, some restrictions are already in place for certain territories.

The experience of organising a community conference in Cyprus so far has exceeded all of our expectations. The culture, the passion, and the humour of our local partners make our dreams come true. It will be a challenge to match this new standard of hospitality back home in Vilnius.

As an example, take a closer look at the photo above and consider, how it may be related to bananas, and to Summit On Tour II? A tough riddle, I know.

  • Not many people outside of Cyprus are aware of the fact that the island grows excellent bananas. In fact, I tried the best bananas in my life a few years ago at a market in Larnaca. These bananas are almost exclusively consumed locally, and generally are a bit more expensive (compared to, say, Ecuador's), which is why you won't find them in the mainland Europe.
  • As we sat down with the management of the venue, Carob Mill, and went through the list of how we can make the conference special, I wondered if we could bring a big branch of bananas directly from the farm, to serve for breakfast. Now, in another country, the managers could have said "go to Lidl" or "in the month of April, the banana union is on strike" – but in Cyprus, people around the table just said "Πολύ καλά!"
  • In Cyprus, most bananas are grown around Paphos. And who else was born in Paphos? The co-managing partner of the Chrysostomides law firm, George Mountis. And thus we have agreed that George will find a local farmer there, who will cut down a big branch a few days ahead of the conference, and deliver it to us.
  • The bananas got listed in the event's raider, and that was it, until we started thinking about the Morning Run. We now expect to see almost 70 lawyers run in the morning of April 18th. Now, what do we want to have at the finishing line... Right, some water to drink, and maybe... some bananas to recharge... But where do we place those? If only we had something better than a simple table...
  • ...like the back of a Land Rover 1962, which also comes from Paphos? And here we are, currently trying to secure the permission to drive and park at the venue a Land Rover full of freshly harvested bananas to be served for breakfast at On Tour II.

First interviews with the Summit partners

We started to publish the interviews with this year's top-tier partners of the conference, where we explore the way that these firms engage with the games industry in their practice. All of these are real interviews, not write-ups, and no marketing people are allowed in the room when I conduct them.

Do you know which firm worked on the European indie hit that recently sold 2 million copies on Steam? And which firm currently defends one of the global publishers (and a valued member of our community) in court against the accusations of building "addictive" video games? Bomb threats against developers, advice on using glue in gravy for a commercial, and a case of a contractor ran over while shooting an esports promo, it all awaits you in the three interviews below:

Enthusiastic about video games!
In 2024, Osborne Clarke returns as one of the top-tier partners of the Summit. Sergei Klimov spoke with Konstantin (Konni) Ewald in 🇩🇪 Cologne and Felix Hilgert in 🇺🇸 San Francisco about the firm’s latest projects in the games space: ► THE FIRM Osborne Clarke is… – …a European law firm with a gl
Litigation & Transactions
We’re thrilled to confirm MSK as one of the top-tier partners of the Summit in 2024. Sergei Klimov caught up with Karin Pagnanelli and Marc Mayer in Los Angeles to chat about what’s happening at the firm: Karin Pagnanelli (MSK), left; Marc Mayer (MSK), centre, at Games Industry Law Summit 2023 ► THE
Creative Industries
In 2024, we again have the pleasure of welcoming Frankfurt Kurnit as one of the top sponsors of the Summit! Sergei Klimov spoke to 🇺🇸 Sean Kane and 🇺🇸 Greg Boyd in New York about the firm’s games group, and its current focus. Frances Jensen (Frankfurt Kurnit) and Sean Kane (Frankfurt Kurnit) at

On Tour II's program

As the saying goes, don't ask the German lawyers about the hour at which they have returned to their hotels from the karaoke bar at the Summit, and don't ask Sergei about when the conference program will be published on the website.

Though you can always ask me about SARS2, and why we still offer FFP2 masks and rapid tests at the Summit (this morning's catch: a man received 217 doses of the various COVID vaccines, and a medical team followed his journey; TL;DR – he's perfectly fine, the hypothesis of a hyper stimulated innate immune system getting damaged did not come true; funny enough, because this happened in Germany, a prosecutor wanted to charge him (oh, Germany...) – but the case was eventually dropped).

Anyways, about the program: here's what we aim to cover at On Tour II –

  1. Consumer Protection XC 2024
  2. Advertising & Influencers XC 2024
  3. Litigating Clones XC 2024
  4. Privacy XC 2024
  5. Protection of Minors XC 2024
  6. Deceptively Obvious 2.0
  7. Insurance x Video Games 1.0
  8. Engaging talent w/collective agreements 1.0
  9. Controlled engagement w/regions under restrictions
  10. Plans & Execution for Regional Studio Incentives
  11. M&A: A toolbox for difficult markets (clauses)
  12. M&A: Executing MBO and carve-outs
  13. Games Industry in Cyprus: Cluster & Models

We've released the details of the three panels already, you can check the speakers and an overview of these by clicking on the hyperlinked titles in the list above. Please bear with me as we continue to lock down and announce the other talks. As always, each panel involves experts from several regions, and as we work on the scope and the structure, it takes some time to synchronise everyone across the various time zones. But the result is worth it!

And now, for le plat principal, let's talk about this season's moot court, where I have the privilege of announcing the four teams that qualified to the semifinals!

Judge Panel

If this year's Judge Panel were a law firm, we'd have studios lining up to sign the engagement letters:

🇺🇸 Karin Pagnanelli is the world-famous IP litigator with the focus on the games industry. Based in Los Angeles, she co-chairs the Interactive Entertainment Group at MSK.

🇫🇷 Clara Benyamin is a partner at CBLF AVOCATS in Paris, she focuses on IP law in entertainment, representing companies in games, VR and film.

🇮🇪 Boğaç Erozan leads the EMEA legal team at Riot Games – he specializes in intellectual property, licensing, and matters requiring a solid grasp of games and industry practice.

🇵🇱 Monika Gebel is an attorney-at-law and an expert in the IP sector, focusing on matters related to video game development, publishing, and distribution, with experience at Baker McKenzie and People Can Fly.

🇮🇹 Luca Guidobaldi is a partner at ADVANT Nctm in Rome, focused on IP, media and entertainment. He represents clients in film, tech and games.

🇩🇪🇺🇸 Felix Hilgert is a partner at Osborne Clarke in San Francisco. He explains European consumer, youth, and data protection, as well as other digital regulation, to American games and tech clients, preferably over coffee, in their time zone.

🇸🇬 Meryl Koh (FSiArb) is one of the youngest equity directors at Drew & Napier in Singapore. She is particularly well-versed in corporate / commercial disputes and arbitration, as well as in complex intellectual property disputes.

🇿🇦 Pieter Koornhof is the Chief Operating Officer of 24 Bit Games, a games studio based in South Africa. He is a recovering lawyer and academic, having specialised in competition, IP and labour law.

🇵🇱 Anna Kruszewska is the head of entrainment practice at Hasik Rheims & Partners in Warsaw, advising clients on copyright, media law, protection of personal rights and new technology.

🇬🇧 Kostyantyn Lobov is a partner at Harbottle & Lewis in London. He advises primarily on IP, regulatory and commercial issues and co-heads the wider Interactive Entertainment Group.

🇨🇳🇺🇸 Yue Lu is the senior associate at Pillar Legal in San Francisco. She provides legal services primarily for game and entertainment companies with interests in the United States and/or in China.

🇺🇸 Christine Morgan is an expert trial lawyer at Reed Smith in San Francisco, representing video game and technology companies involved in patent litigation.

🇲🇽 Efraín Olmedo is a counsel at Santamarina + Steta in Mexico City. His practice is centred on advisory and litigation work for IP, entertainment and advertising cases.

🇨🇳 Tracey Tang is a partner at AnJie Broad Law Firm in Shanghai. She mostly works with businesses in TMT and digital entertainment industries, providing a wide range of legal services covering market entry, regulatory compliance, IP licensing and IP enforcement matters.

🇨🇾 George Mountis (FCIArb) is a co-managing partner and the head of dispute resolution at Chrysostomides in Nicosia, with extensive experience in IP, corporate and commercial matters, advising clients in games, film and tech industries.

Presiding Judge

Presiding over this year's panel is George Mountis, a graduate of King's College and the London School of Economics and, more importantly, a litigator with over 20 years of experience in the matters of IP and competition law (which is a perfect match for this year's case, Fungaming vs Clarity Frames).

George is an Accredited Mediator at CEDR and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and serves as the Secretary of the Court at CEDRAC and the President of the Competition Law Committee at the Cyprus Bar Association.

At the current season of Legal Challenge, George is responsible for synchronising the approach to grading across the whole panel, and for providing guidance and the decisive vote in the matters where teams are tied-in for score.

Competing teams

Legal Challenge VII saw 23 registrations, with 6 DSQ issued after the first deadline. The remaining 15 teams have successfully submitted two memorandums. Here's the list of locations where the individual members were based at the time of the competition:

  • 🇩🇪 Berlin
  • 🇵🇹 Porto
  • 🇮🇪 Dublin
  • 🇬🇧 London
  • 🇧🇾 Minsk
  • 🇪🇸 Madrid
  • 🇮🇳 New Delhi
  • 🇲🇽 Mexico City
  • 🇫🇷 Paris / Pantin
  • 🇲🇾 Shah Alam / Kluang / Kota Kinabalu
  • 🇺🇸 NYC / SF / LA / Houston / Concord / Graham / Durham

Distribution of scores

Here's the distribution of scores between the 15 teams (grey = Claimant, red = Defendant; each team's was graded by 6 different judges, and all the teams were anonymised):

Generally, the Defendant's position was stronger in this case. It's quite telling that several teams scored very well on the difficult memo, but lost due to the weaker delivery of, essentially, a wining hand. Why? We think that it's the rather common problem of approach when one expects the judge to "take over" when "things are obvious", whereas in real litigation, this could backfire magnificently.

Since the minimal score was 50, let's adjust the chart to start at 200:

Indeed, this is another year with exceptionally tough competition, where a few points could make a difference. Here's a close-up of the spread:

In the course of the prep work, we made a specific effort to align every judge's approach to grading, highlighting how important even 1 extra point in the score could become. I'm happy to report that, exceptionally, there was no material difference between the sum total (3 grades for one memo + 3 grades for the other) and the sum adjusted under the regatta rule (2 highest grades for one memo + 2 highest grades for the other) – because in most cases, the judges were aligned rather closely!


I'm humbled to announced the 4 teams that have qualified to the semifinals of Legal Challenge VII, and who will face each other in the oral pleadings (the list is in the alphabetical order, as we do not reveal individual scores until after the finals):

Dungeons & Damages
🇺🇸 Valerie Yu
🇺🇸 Archibald Cruz
🇺🇸 Riki Clement

GA2DS 2.0
🇺🇳 Alina Herasimovich
🇺🇳 Darya Sauko
🇺🇳 Amina Hazdanava

Martin Radanov
🇺🇸 Olivia Scheyer
🇺🇸 Michael Cheiken

QMUL Avatars
🇺🇳 Julian Jaggs
🇧🇪 Sarah van Hoeyweghen
🇨🇦 Daniel Mousley

Regardless of the outcome of the oral pleadings, all four teams receive complimentary registration for the Games Industry Law Summit in Vilnius this September – well deserved! And we cannot wait for the hearings to begin, in two weeks from now.

// Sergei Klimov @ CHARLIE OSCAR


I wasn't kidding when I wrote that the Limassol conference will become our benchmark in hospitality and organisation: as I finished writing this issue, an email from the management of Carob Mill came through – and now we have their permission to park the 1962 Land Rover, with the bananas from Paphos, at the venue. Κύπριοι, σας αγαπώ!

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Jamie Larson