Albert Marshall is an esteemed Legal and Business Affairs Consultant, having previously worked as a lawyer for huge gaming enterprises: Sony Playstation and Take-Two Interactive. In 2012, Albert set up his own consultancy to provide advice, especially for media, games and entertainment businesses. We asked Albert some key questions about getting into legal in the games sector.
Explain your role like I'm 5 years old
I help games and other creative and technology companies with contracts, intellectual property, business opportunities and questions, and related legal queries.
Take us through your average day at work:
No such thing for me! However, I try to do some admin and scan emails in the morning whilst caffeine kicks in. I usually have a call or Skype meeting with a client and most days you will find me reviewing and amending contracts. I am also out and about a lot at clients' offices or attending or speaking at conferences and talks. Learning and sharing knowledge is what it's all about.
What was your educational and career journey into your current role?
I studied law at university and qualified as a barrister. My first clients included murderers, drug dealers and burglars so games publishing didn't scare me when I took on a role at PlayStation. I loved working with and advising the studios and the external dev team, where I also met a lot of indie developers. I did similar work during my next role at a large games publisher.
I had always felt there was a massive need for games developers to have accessible legal and business help, and with the rise of the app stores, digital distribution and independent game creation, I was starting to get a lot of requests to look at contracts. Eventually, I decided to set up Marshall Media and we're still here!
What is the most rewarding thing about your role?
Helping great companies and individuals create cool stuff and bring it to market.
What other roles do you work with the most?
I can get involved quite early, so I speak to a lot of game designers. With larger companies I also speak a lot to the business people with everything from accountants to marketing directors and investors.
What's the most challenging thing about your role?
Sometimes having to give advice that clients might not have wanted to hear in the short term, though I'm happy to say I'm usually proved right so the clients come back.
What software or digital tools do you use the most?
One of my clients made me use Jira but it's usually the boring Office Suite stuff. I'm a big fan of Google Docs for quick and collaborative working.
What are the key skills needed for you to work on to do your role?
It's important to be a good listener. Business and legal experience is the value I should be bringing. Legal skills are of course assumed, but as the law is always changing it's important to keep up to date.
What advice would you give to your younger self looking to get started in the industry?
Talk to everyone. Attend as many events as possible. Get involved as soon as you can. And, enjoy!