Neal D.L. Black

Partner

Neal Black is a partner at Adkins Black, where he focuses on advising clients in the software industry and interactive media industry, including designers, creators, and operators of hosted software solutions, embedded software solutions, middleware, platforms, AI solutions, video games, online games, VR games, mobile games, mobile applications, casual and social games, virtual worlds, and other creative and innovative works. Neal also serves investors in early rounds of financing.

Before joining Adkins Black, Neal was Vice President and General Counsel of Square Enix, a global developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content. Neal managed the legal affairs of Square Enix’s North American subsidiaries, including UIEvolution, a leading developer of middleware for cross-platform distribution of apps, data, and content. For a two-year period in 2008 and 2009, Neal was Vice President and General Counsel of Live Gamer (now known as Emergent Payments), a provider of e-commerce solutions for online games, virtual worlds, social networks, and other virtual environments, including publisher-sanctioned marketplaces for virtual items and virtual currencies.

At Adkins Black, Neal works directly with the CEOs, CFOs, and in-house legal departments of established companies, start-ups, and early-round investors. He provides a wide range of services, including senior management over complex legal matters, such as interactive software product releases; negotiation of complex legal relationships with customers, contractors, publishers, developers, vendors, suppliers, and other business partners; negotiation of stock purchase and related investor agreements; and providing business-oriented counseling to executive management teams on a full range of other legal matters. Among other things, Neal understands the laws governing software development, content creation, IP licensing, AI models, user-generated content, privacy and data security, virtual goods, virtual currencies, and ownership of virtual property.

Neal received an undergraduate degree in engineering from Stanford University and his JD from Georgetown University. He has taught intellectual-property and business law courses as an adjunct professor at Seattle University and a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law, where he lectured on emerging legal issues in video games and virtual worlds.

Neal was born on Adak Island, Alaska, which, in case you didn’t know, is located in the middle of the Bering Sea at the far southwestern tip of the Aleutian Islands. He grew up in Prineville, Oregon, and now lives in the decidedly more urban environment of Kirkland, Washington, where he and his wife, Joanna, raised their two sons. Neal also volunteers in the community as an elected member of the City Council for the City of Kirkland. He was first elected to the Council in 2019 and was re-elected in 2021. And, he is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the King County Bar Association (2018-2023) and a former chair of that organization's Public Policy Committee (2014-2019).

Neal D.L. Black
  • Direct:
    (425) 681.9830
  • Fax:
    (425) 650.3676
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Bar Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Washington
Speaking Engagements

Part-Time Lecturer, U of W School of Law, 2009-2016, Emerging Legal Issues in Video Games and Virtual Worlds

Gamer Technology Law Conference, Seattle, 2016, Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality / Mixed Reality Developments and Legal Challenges

CASRIP Summer Institute, U of W School of Law, 2013-2014, Real-World Laws and Virtual Borders

Video Games and Digital Media Conference, San Francisco, 2014, Gamblification!

Frequent Guest Lecturer, U of W Bothell, 2010-2014, Intellectual Property Basics for Interactive Media & Entrepreneurship

Gamer Technology Law Conference, Seattle, 2012, Real-World Laws and Virtual Borders

Login Conference, Seattle, 2011, Transfer of Online Game Properties in Acquisitions

ABA Conference, Chicago, 2009, Emerging Legal Issues in Video Games

Engage Conference, San Jose, 2009, Virtual Property and Virtual Currency

Login/ION Conference, Seattle, 2008, Virtual Property and Virtual Currency

Engage Conference, New York, 2008, Virtual Property and Virtual Currency

Adjunct Professor, Seattle University & Seattle University School of Law, 2007-2008, Business Law and Community Development and Entrepreneurship Clinic

Industry Experience

A selection of the industry participants with whom Neal has negotiated transactions include:

  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Meta / Facebook
  • Microsoft / XBox
  • Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Nintendo
  • Activision
  • Electronic Arts
  • Sony Online Entertainment
  • Epic Games
  • Disney
  • Yahoo!
  • THQ
  • Take-Two
  • Namco Bandai
  • NCSoft / ArenaNet
  • Nexon
  • Annapurna Games
  • Majesco / Midnight City
  • Big Fish Games
  • Pokémon
  • ABC / ESPN
  • NBC Universal
  • CNN / Turner
  • Sony Pictures
  • Sony Music
  • Warner Music
  • EMI
  • MTV Networks
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Motorola
  • Verizon

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