Canadian Lawyer InHouse

Feb/Mar 2010

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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PROFILE By Vawn Himmelsbach He's in the game Electronic Arts Canada senior counsel Brian Dartnell went from litigator to the top in-house job at the Canadian software giant. Video games allow children and adults alike to be superstar athletes, sol- diers of fortune, or great warriors of lore. It may seem like all fun and games, but imagine the legal implications of having a hockey game featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, wearing his Rbk SC87 equipment line, and firing pucks at Detroit Red Wings' goalie Chris Osgood's Brian's DX2 pads in a re-creation of the NHL's 2009 Stanley Cup finals. NHL 2010 game maker Electronic Arts makes the claim "if it's in the game, it's in the game." For EA Canada senior counsel Brian Dartnell that means very real legal work for the virtual athletes and equip- ment of the beloved sports franchise. The former labour and employment litigator with Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in Vancouver got into the game with EA Canada in 2005 overseeing Fight Night, Need for Speed, and Mass Effect, just three of the 50 games the company produces. "That background doesn't necessarily lend itself very well to transferring into a corporate role," he says. Today, Dartnell oversees the delivery of legal services at the company's six Canadian production studios spread across British Columbia, Typically people think of EA as a technology company. We think of ourselves as an entertainment company, but we're involved in high tech in a big way and because of that the pace of change is staggering. BRIAN DARTNELL, Electronic Arts Canada INHOUSE FEBRUARY 2010 • 35

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