Activision Blizzard hires new legal director to lead games company's in-house team outside of the US

Activision Blizzard, the company behind video games such as Call of Duty (pictured) and Destiny, has appointed a new legal director to oversee the majority of its legal team outside of the US.

Leona Jacobson has joined the California-based games developer from The Walt Disney Company, where she spent two years as an EMEA counsel and director in its marketing, advertising and commercial division.

According to Legal Week sister publication The National Law JournalActivision Blizzard has about 20 in-house lawyers based in the US, with an international legal team globally comprising of a further 10 lawyers, the majority of who will now report into Jacobson.

She will in turn report into chief legal officer Chris Walther, who is based in Los Angeles.

Her remit will include commercial work relating to Activision’s main franchises, Call of Duty and Destiny, while she will also be the lead lawyer for the company’s international consumer products division, which was launched earlier this year to produce toys and other products relating to the company’s franchises.

She will also advise the company’s film studio, Activision Blizzard Studios, which draws on characters from its franchises for film and television programmes, and on its eSports professional online gaming leagues.

Activision Blizzard was created by the 2008 merger of Activision and Vivendi Games, and last year posted revenues of $6.6bn (£5bn). It is headquartered in Santa Monica, California but Jacobson will be based in the company’s corporate office in Datchet in Berkshire.

She trained and qualified at DLA Piper, before going in-house at McDonald’s in 2009, where she was a senior European counsel in the data and digital, and intellectual property (IP) and marketing teams – a role which included responsibility for legal issues relating to Happy Meals.

Picture credit: Bago Games