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Why Now Is the Time for In-House Web3 Expertise: Melanie Howard and Gian Pastore

Melanie Howard, chair of Loeb’s Intellectual Property Protection and Luxury Brands practices and deputy chair of the Advanced Media and Technology department, and Web3 manager Gian Pastore, who joined Loeb in early August 2022, talked to Legaltech News about the benefits of having a Web3 manager and the firm’s upcoming Web3 initiatives. 

In the article, Gian shared that he will be working alongside Loeb lawyers on all manner of projects and issues that arise in the Web3/metaverse space. In addition, he will be educating clients on the technological aspects of NFT drops, launching cryptocurrencies and launching events in the metaverse.

Melanie explained that having a technical matter subject expert will benefit Loeb’s lawyers, and by extension the firm’s clients. “We thought it was the right decision to have someone in-house who understands, knows and has worked with this technology to educate us lawyers on the technology piece, so we can guide our clients on the legal risks and issues involved, she said.

The firm also plans to announce upcoming Web3 and metaverse initiatives. “It has been our focus to keep tabs on what the fashion industry has does in the Web3 space,” Melanie added. “They’ve really been the first movers in many ways. With nonfungible tokens that was like having Metaverse Fashion Week and having a presence in Sandbox, Decentraland and other spaces. So that is something we are definitely watching.”

Looking ahead, Melanie discussed how Gian’s role will help guide clients on timing their investments into the metaverse. “We really think the value that we give our clients is that we are learning the technologies as soon as we possibly can to give our clients the best guidance across all areas,” she said. “I think it’s an issue for clients to decide when to make the move and how much to invest. It’s at least an investment of time and resources in developing and building out those Web3 initiatives.”

As for the impact of NFTs in the law firm market and beyond, Melanie explained the shift from NFTs being viewed solely as collectibles to becoming a ticket to experience and connect with communities in the metaverse. 

“I can see how NFTs would be a way to deliver content to clients; instead of having a Zoom CLE session you could do one in the metaverse,” Melanie noted. “For firms, it’ll really be about choosing a strategy. Do you want to just kind of replicate in the metaverse what you are doing in real life? Do you want it to be an entirely new goods or services offering?”

To read the full interview, please visit Legaltech News’ website (subscription required).