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Meet This Young Ivorian ‘Lawyer’ Who Works At UBISOFT, One Of The Biggest Video Game Publisher In The World

During my trip to Paris a few months earlier, I had the opportunity to go to Montreuil to visit the headquarters of UBISOFT, the French number one in the video game industry and the third in the world.

Assassin’s Creed, Tom Cancy, Just Dance, Raving Rabbids, etc. ..To name just those games there, are all produced by Ubisoft. 

And at the turn of the various exchanges, I made the discovery of Jean-Philippe Doho , a young Frenchman of 27 years of Ivorian origin, lawyer by training and who works in this juggernaut of video games as Junior Legal Counsel. I was immediately impressed by his spontaneity and interest in his country of origin. And so I wanted to know a little more about him through this unpublished interview.

Jean Philippe Doho

Photo credit: Jean-Philippe Doho

1. How did your educational and professional background work?

I did my secondary course at Lycée Chaptal in Paris. After obtaining my baccalauréat, I joined the University Panthéon Assas (Paris II) where I obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Law after 4 years. I then obtained a Master’s degree in Anglo-American business law from the University of Panthéon Sorbonne (Paris I). I then finished my studies in the United States at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. After a year, I came out with a Masters of Laws (LLM) in Intellectual Property. Concerning my professional background, I started in 2014 as a trainee Legal & Business Affairs at Atlantique Productions, an audiovisual production company of the Lagardère Group specialized in series for the international market (Borgia, Transporter the series, Polar Day). My mission was to write and negotiate production / co-production contracts, author contracts and   validate content in the series. This course lasted 6 months. In 2015, I then landed as a trainee successively at Memento Films International , an international film agent and distribution company; then Chammas and Marcheteau, a business law firm. Since January 2016, I have been hired as Junior Legal Counsel at Ubisoft International. On a daily basis, I have the role of writing and negotiating licenses, negotiating and writing communication and event agency contracts, writing contest games, validating in-game content.

2. Why did you choose a career as a lawyer?

I always had an appetite for politics and the business world and the law seemed a good compromise to be a central player in the business world. It is a profession that demands rigor, organization and discipline, the attributes that attracted me.

Being a passionate of cinema, music and sport, I turned to intellectual property to complement my fundamentals in business law.

3. What are the assets to be able to succeed in this area?

Rigor, sense of organization and discipline. As an in-house lawyer, you must be able to listen to the “operational” (those who are in the field and negotiate contracts – marketing, business development, finance, etc.) and who are not trained law. My mission is to accompany and advise those people who work for our group to ensure that   they get a contract that meets their expectations.

4. How did you start at Ubisoft?

I went through the traditional way. I responded to   an announcement on the Ubisoft website for a lawyer position. I joined the team in January 2016. I joined a team of 25 lawyers on 3 continents (Asia, North America, Europe) and I started mainly with make licensing agreements for our derivative products as well as marketing operations such as contests.

I assist   teams on a variety of topics. Recently, I was in charge of legal issues for digital marketing in the EMEA area, which is a very interesting challenge for me in a world dominated by social networks.

Ubisoft
Photo credit: Ubisoft

5. What are the values ​​of this company you share?

Ubisoft is   a company founded by the Guillemot brothers, one of whom, Yves, is still in charge of   the company (Yves is CEO of the group and his brothers sit on the board of directors. 30 years, the group has grown to 12,000 people on 5 continents.Despite the size of the group, the links between the different services are very easy thanks to the proximity of the offices but also by the atmosphere of collaboration which exists among my colleagues.Based of a large family, these links are very important for me.

The absence of a dress code and vouvoyer creates a context in which people are judged and accepted on the basis of their skills and not on appearance.

I also share the international values ​​of the company, which trusts people from all over the world with different cultural baggage to work together. Having grown up in France with Ivorian parents, I always saw my difference as   an asset because it gives me a different vision of things. This difference is appreciated, respected and even useful in my work because we expect that all points of view on a given subject can be examined and taken into account. My various trips, especially in the United States, have confirmed this idea of ​​opening up internationally to recruit talents from around the world for the best performances.

Finally, the independent character of the company also meets me very well. I run parallel   creative projects and realized that it is essential to be free in choosing to take risks and do things that have not been done before.

6. How did you manage to become part of such a prestigious global group?

Throughout my schooling I have remained curious and open to any subject other than law, especially through personal creative projects and many   international trips . I think it is this international profile coupled with my positive frame of mind that played in my favor during the recruitment.

On a daily basis, we must constantly question and propose new solutions in a technological world that is constantly evolving and that is not always regulated. There is work and also everything around it that is these relationships with colleagues just as important as the work itself. By staying open-minded, doing sport at lunch break with people from other services, we   develop sincere relationships outside work that without knowing make us better colleagues. Sometimes an innocuous gesture like a simple smile or a “how it goes” can make a difference in its working relationships.

Finally, the international spectrum of video games makes the English language a must. Most of the contracts I deal with are written in English and the mastery of this language has greatly facilitated my integration into the team.

7. Are you also a gamer? What are your favorite games at Ubisoft?

Yes, I grew up with video games. I do not play as before but I own a PS4 that I still use from time to time. I am a big fan of the NBA 2K basketball simulation. My favorite game of Ubisoft is The Crew, an arcade racing game developed by our studio in Lyon.

Ubisoft NBA 2K
Caption

8. What does one of your typical days look like?

The typical day does not really exist in the legal department. The missions vary according to the time of year (development or game launch). As I deal with files related to digital marketing, there are always operations depending on the output of games and the job often changes.

No routine, it’s varied and we touch everything according to the schedule of the game (pre-production, development, release of the game, etc.)

9. What are your other passions and / or hobbies?

I’ve been playing basketball since I was 12 years old.   Another of my passions, the cinema.

Since my childhood in Picardy, I watch a lot of movies with cable channels (always in the original language). When I arrived in Paris, I kept this habit and became a subscriber to the cinema. My favorite movies are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind , He Got Game , Beat My Heart stopped , Chocolate (there are many others). I’m also a fan of television series: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Mr Robot, Game of Thrones… are my favorites. I am passionate about music and I am amateur of varied styles like jazz, soul, hip-hop, lo-fi, chillwave, electronic music. It’s also important for me to go see live concerts or go to festivals. When I buy vinyls, I think   of my children who will inherit one day and the musical heritage that I will bequeath to them.

Jean Philippe Doho
Photo credit: Jean Philippe Doho

10. What is your motivation for everyday life?

“It’s gonna go, it’s god who’s strong”

11. If you were to describe yourself in 3 words?

  • International
  • Original
  • Passionate

12. What are your plans?

Professionally, I am in charge of the legal aspect of any digital marketing topic for EMEA territories at Ubisoft. I wish to bring my stone to the building on its subjects and to be the best lawyer possible.

At the same time, I want to continue to be involved in artistic projects in cinema and music. As such, I am finishing a documentary project on a basketball team of young Parisians and I collaborate with a young label of Parisian music where I express a little my creative side. This makes me learn new skills and work with different people who require me to remain structured, open and determined to do great things outside my training profession.

13. A final word for African youth, especially Ivorian youth.

Cultivate your difference, be curious and open, learn the strings (economic, legal, cultural, political) of the trade you are interested in. All this by keeping the smile and the good state of mind.

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Credit: BuzzyAfrica

During my trip to Paris a few months earlier, I had the opportunity to go to Montreuil to visit the headquarters of UBISOFT, the French number one in the video game industry and the third in the world.

Assassin’s Creed, Tom Cancy, Just Dance, Raving Rabbids, etc. ..To name just those games there, are all produced by Ubisoft. 

Photo credit: Jean-Philippe Doho
And at the turn of the various exchanges, I made the discovery of Jean-Philippe Doho , a young Frenchman of 27 years of Ivorian origin, lawyer by training and who works in this juggernaut of video games as Junior Legal Counsel. I was immediately impressed by his spontaneity and interest in his country of origin. And so I wanted to know a little more about him through this unpublished interview.

1. How did your educational and professional background work?

I did my secondary course at Lycée Chaptal in Paris. After obtaining my baccalauréat, I joined the University Panthéon Assas (Paris II) where I obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Law after 4 years. I then obtained a Master’s degree in Anglo-American business law from the University of Panthéon Sorbonne (Paris I). I then finished my studies in the United States at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. After a year, I came out with a Masters of Laws (LLM) in Intellectual Property. Concerning my professional background, I started in 2014 as a trainee Legal & Business Affairs at Atlantique Productions, an audiovisual production company of the Lagardère Group specialized in series for the international market (Borgia, Transporter the series, Polar Day). My mission was to write and negotiate production / co-production contracts, author contracts and   validate content in the series. This course lasted 6 months. In 2015, I then landed as a trainee successively at Memento Films International , an international film agent and distribution company; then Chammas and Marcheteau, a business law firm. Since January 2016, I have been hired as Junior Legal Counsel at Ubisoft International. On a daily basis, I have the role of writing and negotiating licenses, negotiating and writing communication and event agency contracts, writing contest games, validating in-game content.

2. Why did you choose a career as a lawyer?

I always had an appetite for politics and the business world and the law seemed a good compromise to be a central player in the business world. It is a profession that demands rigor, organization and discipline, the attributes that attracted me.

Being a passionate of cinema, music and sport, I turned to intellectual property to complement my fundamentals in business law.

3. What are the assets to be able to succeed in this area?

Rigor, sense of organization and discipline. As an in-house lawyer, you must be able to listen to the “operational” (those who are in the field and negotiate contracts – marketing, business development, finance, etc.) and who are not trained law. My mission is to accompany and advise those people who work for our group to ensure that   they get a contract that meets their expectations.

4. How did you start at Ubisoft?

I went through the traditional way. I responded to   an announcement on the Ubisoft website for a lawyer position. I joined the team in January 2016. I joined a team of 25 lawyers on 3 continents (Asia, North America, Europe) and I started mainly with make licensing agreements for our derivative products as well as marketing operations such as contests.

I assist   teams on a variety of topics. Recently, I was in charge of legal issues for digital marketing in the EMEA area, which is a very interesting challenge for me in a world dominated by social networks.

Ubisoft
Photo credit: Ubisoft

5. What are the values ​​of this company you share?

Ubisoft is   a company founded by the Guillemot brothers, one of whom, Yves, is still in charge of   the company (Yves is CEO of the group and his brothers sit on the board of directors. 30 years, the group has grown to 12,000 people on 5 continents.Despite the size of the group, the links between the different services are very easy thanks to the proximity of the offices but also by the atmosphere of collaboration which exists among my colleagues.Based of a large family, these links are very important for me.

The absence of a dress code and vouvoyer creates a context in which people are judged and accepted on the basis of their skills and not on appearance.

I also share the international values ​​of the company, which trusts people from all over the world with different cultural baggage to work together. Having grown up in France with Ivorian parents, I always saw my difference as   an asset because it gives me a different vision of things. This difference is appreciated, respected and even useful in my work because we expect that all points of view on a given subject can be examined and taken into account. My various trips, especially in the United States, have confirmed this idea of ​​opening up internationally to recruit talents from around the world for the best performances.

Finally, the independent character of the company also meets me very well. I run parallel   creative projects and realized that it is essential to be free in choosing to take risks and do things that have not been done before.

6. How did you manage to become part of such a prestigious global group?

Throughout my schooling I have remained curious and open to any subject other than law, especially through personal creative projects and many   international trips . I think it is this international profile coupled with my positive frame of mind that played in my favor during the recruitment.

On a daily basis, we must constantly question and propose new solutions in a technological world that is constantly evolving and that is not always regulated. There is work and also everything around it that is these relationships with colleagues just as important as the work itself. By staying open-minded, doing sport at lunch break with people from other services, we   develop sincere relationships outside work that without knowing make us better colleagues. Sometimes an innocuous gesture like a simple smile or a “how it goes” can make a difference in its working relationships.

Finally, the international spectrum of video games makes the English language a must. Most of the contracts I deal with are written in English and the mastery of this language has greatly facilitated my integration into the team.

7. Are you also a gamer? What are your favorite games at Ubisoft?

Yes, I grew up with video games. I do not play as before but I own a PS4 that I still use from time to time. I am a big fan of the NBA 2K basketball simulation. My favorite game of Ubisoft is The Crew, an arcade racing game developed by our studio in Lyon.

Ubisoft NBA 2K
Caption

8. What does one of your typical days look like?

The typical day does not really exist in the legal department. The missions vary according to the time of year (development or game launch). As I deal with files related to digital marketing, there are always operations depending on the output of games and the job often changes.

No routine, it’s varied and we touch everything according to the schedule of the game (pre-production, development, release of the game, etc.)

9. What are your other passions and / or hobbies?

I’ve been playing basketball since I was 12 years old.   Another of my passions, the cinema.

Since my childhood in Picardy, I watch a lot of movies with cable channels (always in the original language). When I arrived in Paris, I kept this habit and became a subscriber to the cinema. My favorite movies are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind , He Got Game , Beat My Heart stopped , Chocolate (there are many others). I’m also a fan of television series: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Mr Robot, Game of Thrones… are my favorites. I am passionate about music and I am amateur of varied styles like jazz, soul, hip-hop, lo-fi, chillwave, electronic music. It’s also important for me to go see live concerts or go to festivals. When I buy vinyls, I think   of my children who will inherit one day and the musical heritage that I will bequeath to them.

Jean Philippe Doho
Photo credit: Jean Philippe Doho

10. What is your motivation for everyday life?

“It’s gonna go, it’s god who’s strong”

11. If you were to describe yourself in 3 words?

  • International
  • Original
  • Passionate

12. What are your plans?

Professionally, I am in charge of the legal aspect of any digital marketing topic for EMEA territories at Ubisoft. I wish to bring my stone to the building on its subjects and to be the best lawyer possible.

At the same time, I want to continue to be involved in artistic projects in cinema and music. As such, I am finishing a documentary project on a basketball team of young Parisians and I collaborate with a young label of Parisian music where I express a little my creative side. This makes me learn new skills and work with different people who require me to remain structured, open and determined to do great things outside my training profession.

13. A final word for African youth, especially Ivorian youth.

Cultivate your difference, be curious and open, learn the strings (economic, legal, cultural, political) of the trade you are interested in. All this by keeping the smile and the good state of mind.

Credit: BuzzyAfrica

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