FFW scores points for Nintendo as firm advises on online shop launch

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has won one of its biggest roles yet for Nintendo, landing a lead role advising on the launch of its UK online retail store. 

Nintendo was already a client of the firm, with Palo-Alto based partner Phil Lee holding the relationship. The firm’s London office is understood to have done an ‘informal’ pitch for the work, led by senior technology associate David Lewis. 

FFW worked alongside the entertainment company’s in-house legal team on the website launch, which enables Nintendo to sell directly to the UK market. The majority of Nintendo’s in-house lawyers for Europe are headquartered in Germany, with a handful based in the UK. The European legal arm is managed by general counsel Martina Franke. 

Managed by relationship partner Phil Lee, FFW’s London office advised on all commercial, IP and regulatory matters of the website launch, including negotiating deals with key suppliers and and advising on data privacy issues. Lewis led the team, working alongside e-payments partner Paul Graham, commercial IP partner David Bond, privacy specialist Leonie Power and technology associates Nick Ball and Chris Eastham.

Nintendo’s go-to adviser for competition advice in Europe, Hogan Lovells, was on standby for the deal.

FFW is not understood to be on a formal legal panel at Nintendo, which has been known to use Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Germany and Osborne Clarke in the UK.

In 2007 Nintendo of Europe commanded a substantial legal budget of around £1.35m in a console launch year, making the company a valuable but demanding client. It is not known how the business has increased its legal spend since.