FFW advises on massive £3m sale of slots.com gaming domain name

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has advised the ­seller in the largest reported ­internet domain name sale of 2010.

Paul Barton
Paul Barton

Technology partner Paul Barton led the team advising the owner of slots.com in its $5.85m (£3.07m) sale to leading gaming company Bodog, in a deal believed
to be among the top 10 ­highest-selling domain names of all time.

Barton was supported by associate Kwok Tang, while Bodog was advised by US-based McGregor Law Firm, with the team headed by partner Robert McGregor.

FFW advised the company to sell the domain via a live online auction, which helped to significantly drive up the price thanks to the high level of interest. While the ­auction offer fell short of the $6m reserve price, an agreement was later reached with the eventual buyer.

Barton advised the ­owners on the legal and commercial aspects of the auction and domain name transfer arrangements. The firm also acted as escrow agent to facilitate the ­completion of the deal.

Barton said: “A domain name like slots.com is a unique asset and, like all unique assets, it’s very ­difficult to put a valuation on it.  Although the auction didn’t directly result in a sale, what it did do was ­create concrete evidence of slots.com’s ­market value. 

“This then helped the owner achieve a much higher price than what it would have achieved through other sales channels.”

As well as online auctions, FFW has advised companies on various domain name matters including acquisition, disposal and enforcement against unauthorised users of ­trademarks.