In the endless world of legal opportunities, one of the newest is the metaverse, an area of exploration for users (and lawyers) that became prominent with Facebook’s rebranding at “Meta” as it enters the new, virtual world of the metaverse.
And the lawyers are following, with smaller firms already boasting of work with the metaverse and now with Arent Fox as the first of the major law firms to enter the world too, buying the 3D virtual world browser platform Decentraland.
Arent Fox had advised Big Four accountant PwC LLP when it bought a site in The Sandbox metaverse, the law firm explaining that it continued its tech-beating innovation, being one of the first law firms on the internet with its website.
Arent Fox said that its Blockchain & Digital Assets group provides legal advice on all aspects of the metaverse, a 3D virtual reality world for work and play, as well as for those involving in gaming, technology, software and seeking to brand within the metaverse.
Metaverse Law Changes
The development of the metaverse has been accelerated with the continued development of blockchain and the increasing publicity involving digital currencies.
The metaverse world is one where there are potentially boundless opportunities for lawyers, as it involves the creation of real estate, career opportunities, consumer and branding product and service providers and more. All of these involve contractual, intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution possibilities for lawyers.
Facebook is not the only major player involved in the area as Microsoft for instance has a range of gaming and other applications while the pandemic has pushed businesses and individuals increasingly into the virtual world, further spurring on metaverse interest.
One of the major legal challenges facing those involved in the metaverse is privacy and data protection issues – two key areas for lawyers involved in legal issues relating to the metaverse. The use of personal information is increasingly regulated and enforced, but the metaverse and the data is without state boundaries, creating potential issues for any ‘actor’ involved in the virtual world.
For lawyers, the metaverse creates major opportunities to develop enhanced skills involved in this new, emerging technology and the raft of legal points upon which it rests. Just how those issues and developments play out remains to be seen but lawyers will be front and center in the emerging and exciting new area of metaverse law.
The movement of major law firms like Arent Fox into the metaverse demonstrates that this is not an area that is being taken lightly, nor is it one that is going to become any less complex as contractual, privacy, IP and related issues continue to provide challenges for the ‘metaverse lawyers’