"There are more requests for classical consulting," Roman Lukyanov from Semenov& Pevzner on the main thing for 2022

On the eve of the New Year, App2Top opens the traditional interview series Results”, in which we interview top managers of the gaming industry (and related ones) about how the year has passed for their company and industry. This time we start the cycle with an interview with Roman Lukyanov, managing Partner of the Semenov & Pevzner law firm.

Tell us what the year was like for you personally, where are you now, were there any things that you finally managed to realize and are proud of?

The year was just crazy in every sense, although I’m sure that it was like that for almost everyone.

If we talk about things personal and close to the industry, then I would highlight two news.

The first news: we are releasing our first board game (it will be available in early 2023, but some will be able to get it earlier).

The second news: my friends and I have opened a small game studio and are slowly pumping our skills and sawing small projects.

This year we have also completed, together with IP CLUB and respected colleagues, the preparation of the monograph “Video Games, Gaming, Esports: Legal issues“, which will be available in the first quarter of 2023. In general, an interesting year. And yes, I’m still in Moscow, I don’t plan to move.

What was the year like for the company? What have you done, implemented, and what in general would I like to highlight in terms of achievements?

For the company, the year was about the same as for me: drama, happy endings, ups and downs.

Firstly, there are more of us, almost 50. This year, 10 people joined us in the trademark practice. Colleagues came to us from a large international firm that was forced to leave the market. In every sense, this has added dynamics to us both within the company and in communicating with customers and the other outside world.

Secondly, we have opened an office in Serbia and, in general, have powerfully upgraded our international network.

Thirdly, it is quite a significant customer and product diversification. For very organic reasons, we have a lot of communication with clients from China, South Korea, Turkey, India.

And fourth, thanks to the active work of our internal anti-crisis team, we have several new products and areas that we also plan to develop in 2023.

How has the market changed directly for law firms over the year?

Changed quite a lot. Withdrawal of international law firms from the market (in some cases, very conditional in fact) contributed to a large number of significant transitions. This affected us as well (in a positive mainly context).

The departure of the international business had a great impact on the client portfolio: the legal business, especially the boutique business, was forced to pump its marketing and sales skills with double effort. But this, in general, it seems to me, has benefited everyone.

The demand for individual legal products (due diligence, M&A, relocation, sanctions issues) has significantly increased. A lot of novelties in legislation and judicial practice have also been added here. In general, the changes, if not revolutionary, are very significant and significant for the market.

How has legal practice changed in terms of working with gaming companies over the past year?

According to my feelings, there is one key change: the redistribution of emphasis in the demand for certain legal services. There are fewer requests related to disputes, more requests for classical consulting.

What were the most popular appeals from gaming companies?

Russian companies most often came with a request for consultations related to IT accreditation, mobilization, registration of rights. Less often — with a request to combat piracy. Foreign companies were mainly interested in sanctions compliance and consulting, maintaining their IP in Russia and the CIS.

What are the company’s plans for next year?

We will develop what we started in 2022. Plans include the launch of a couple of new practices, the development of partner contacts and client direction in new jurisdictions (China, South Korea, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, Turkey). We also plan to enter the EU directly with some niche products, and we will finish the first preparations for this by the end of December.

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