Online video game company Roblox Corp. has recruited Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati partner Mark Reinstra to replace its general counsel, who moved to China.
Roblox’s former in-house legal chief Ari Staiman confirmed to Bloomberg Law this week that he has relocated to Shenzhen to become president of Roblox China, a joint venture formed last year by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and San Mateo, Calif.-based Roblox.
Reinstra, a corporate and securities partner who spent nearly 26 years at Wilson Sonsini, replaced Staiman in the general counsel role shortly before the start of the new year.
Reinstra began working as Roblox’s outside counsel in 2005—a year before the company officially went live—and now has responsibility for privacy and data security, care, and safety efforts as Roblox expands internationally, according to a bio for him on Roblox’s website. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about his new role.
In 2017, Roblox raised $92 million in a financing round led by venture capital firms Index Ventures SA and Meritech Capital Partners LP, although only $25 million of that sum went to the company. Bloomberg News reported at the time that Roblox’s backers were betting on the company to challenge Microsoft Corp.’s Minecraft in the online gaming space.
Public records show that Wilson Sonsini has handled trademark work for Roblox, which claims to have more than 100 million active monthly users, many of them children. The company, whose video game platform lets its users create 3-D worlds, also turned to the high-powered Silicon Valley firm in 2018 when it raised another $150 million in funding.
Fenwick & West and Dallas-based Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst are two firms that have represented Roblox in court, according to Bloomberg Law data.
Staiman, a former Baker McKenzie associate who once served as global general counsel for Japanese video game developer Sega Games Co. Ltd., joined Roblox as general counsel in 2016.
Roblox recently has made several other additions to its in-house legal and compliance team, Staiman said in an email. They include Mark Barbolak, an associate general counsel hired by Roblox last year after he served as general counsel of Telltale Inc., a San Rafael, Calif.-based video game developer that closed upon filing for bankruptcy in late 2018.
Other notable in-house hires by Roblox include policy and compliance director Emily Yu, senior counsel Thomas Hwang, privacy and compliance counsel Hailun Ying, privacy counsel Lubna Shirazi, and corporate counsel Devhuti Mishra.