Wiggin lawyer joins Japanese gaming site for rush into Tech City

Wiggin’s computer games head has joined Tokyo-based gaming network GREE as a senior legal counsel in the UK.

Nav Sunner
Nav Sunner

IP lawyer Nav Sunner, who joins GREE UK this week, has specialised in computer games law throughout his career, serving as head of legal at Codemasters before joining Pinsent Masons as an associate in 2005 (24 October 2005), then taking the general counsel role at video games company Mastertronic (5 October 2006). Prior to joining Wiggin in 2010 Sunner was co-head of Osborne Clarke’s interactive entertainment group.

The hire comes weeks after chancellor George Osborne named GREE, Vodafone and Barclays as companies making long-term investments in the capital’s technology hub Tech City as he appealed to technology firms to invest in the UK during a series of Olympics-inspired business summits.

GREE will move from its temporary offices in Covent Garden to a new game development studio in east London at the end of August, joining Moshi Monster creaters and recent business partners Mind Candy. Tech giants Amazon, Facebook, Xbox, Konami and YouTube have also unveiled detailed plans to set up shop in the digital hub this year.

Ryotaro Shima, senior vice president of the business department at GREE, said in a statement: “The London area known as Silicon Roundabout has grown rapidly as a community of digital innovators and creative forward-thinkers, making it the obvious location for GREE to base its UK operations.”

It is understood that Sunner is the company’s only permanent lawyer in the UK, with a spokesperson adding that more legal hires will come as the company expands across Europe.

A spokesperson at Barclays told The Lawyer that it does not plan on hiring any in-house legal staff following the announcement that it will set up an entrepreneur club in east London. Vodafone was unavailable for comment.