Gree legal chief takes commercial role at Microsoft’s new gaming studio

The head of legal issues for Japanese mobile gaming company Gree has left for the role of commercial director at Microsoft’s new games studio in London.

Nav Sunner
Nav Sunner

Nav Sunner, who was responsible for Gree’s legal issues and external brand and content licences in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, joined the Japanese mobile giant from media boutique Wiggin, where he was head of computer games, earlier this year (14 August 2012).

Gree launched in the UK a few months ago after chancellor George Osborne cited it as one of three companies, alongside Vodafone and Barclays, to have made significant investment in the capital’s technology hub, Tech City (3 September 2012).

Microsoft has opted to open its development studio in Soho instead of East London’s technology centre, which has welcomed Amazon, YouTube and Facebook to the capital in recent months. As one of three existing UK games developers for Microsoft, the newly launched Soho base will look at creating and delivering content over mobile devices, phones and the cloud. Sunner will take up a non-legal role for the US tech company, with responsibility for business development, planning and strategy activites at the games centre.

He has previously been head of legal at games company Codemasters, general counsel at software business Mastertronic, co-head of interactive entertainment at Osborne Clarke and head of computer games at Wiggin. While at Gree, Sunner was supported by one other UK-based in-house lawyer, ex-Panasonic legal council Tomoo Uzen. It is not yet known who will be replacing Sunner but Vincent Scheurer, a legal counsel at London-based legal/business affairs consultancy Sarassin, is understood to be filling his shoes on a temporary basis.

A number of in-house lawyers have left for more commercial positions in recent years. Last year saw Endemol’s London-based global head of legal Andy Griffiths stand down to join a human rights organisation in India as field office director (11 July 2012).