Focus on Leadership | Dentons helps clients broach new frontiers

May 31, 2022
Leadership Team Calgary Digital Media & Entertainment Energy & Environment
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Josh Dial is a partner with the litigation and dispute resolution group and Hazel Saffery is a partner with the energy group at Dentons in Calgary.

Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Lawyer Josh Dial has unique insights into the legal issues that can arise with the fast-growing business of eSports, while his colleague Hazel Saffery is a leading expert in helping companies navigate the decarbonization revolution.

Both are partners at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, and critical advisers to two green shoots of economic diversification in Calgary.

Dial admits professional, competitive video game playing is a very new, albeit increasingly lucrative industry. “It’s so new that there are not a lot of legal professionals specializing in it,” says Dial, partner with the litigation and dispute resolution group at Dentons in the city.

Decarbonization — an increasingly hot topic as companies focus on environmental, social and governance, or ESG for short — is also a growing frontier.

“When we say decarbonization, or a reduction in carbon, we’re looking at it from many different angles,” says Saffery, partner with Dentons energy group in Calgary.

From carbon capture projects to renewable energy generation and carbon credit trading markets, decarbonization affects companies across many different industries, especially Calgary’s energy sector.

“We’re seeing very real results in Alberta with new technologies emerging. Because Alberta is such a strong natural resources province, people are coming up with innovative ideas to reduce or capture greenhouse gas emissions,” she says.

More broadly, Saffery adds her team at Dentons helps companies “solve the ESG puzzle with solid advice to help them plan for using renewable energy, or even producing renewable energy.” The potential is massive, with investment in ESG forecast to grow into a $50-trillion industry by 2025, according to Bloomberg.

While not to the same scale, eSports is a fast-growing industry already generating billions of dollars in economic activity, rivaling the size and scope of traditional professional sports leagues, Dial says.

“With eSports, we’re trying to get out in front of it because it is poised to be the next big form of entertainment.”

According to one recent report, eSports is forecast to be a $3.5-billion industry by 2027. Like clean tech, many stakeholders — from gamers to game-makers — are still trying to navigate a relatively new legal landscape, he says.

“That includes everything from employment law to taxation all the way up to corporate legal issues,” he explains.

Be it eSports or ESG, Dentons offers Calgary clients localized solutions backed by a team of trusted global advisers.

“Our clients need industry-leading advice to help connect all the dots of these new frontiers,” Saffery says. “We have experts across many different spheres of industry that can help consider all angles to find the right solution for their needs.”

 This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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