At Harris Bricken, we keep close tabs on what is happening around the world, and we know that our friends and clients do, as well. We are happy to provide this podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench, where we look at the world by talking with business leaders, innovators, service providers, manufacturers, and government leaders around the world.

In Episode #66, we are joined by Chris Campbell, in-house attorney for Baker Hughes and Tales of The Tribunal podcast host.

We discuss:

We’ll see you next week for another exciting and informative episode when we sit down with Enrique Martinez to discuss global cryptocurrency markets!

This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.

Fred Rocafort  0:00 

Joining me today on the podcast is Andrew Smith, a summer associate working out of Harris Bricken. Salt Lake City, Utah office. Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other. The importance on the global stage of developing and developed nations waxes and wanes, while consumption and interconnectedness steadily increase all the while laws and regulations change incessantly requiring businesses to stay nimble. But how do we make sense of it all? Welcome to Global Law and Business hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort


Jonathan Bench  0:40 

And I’m Jonathan Bench. Every week, we take a targeted look at legal and economic developments in locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of international experts. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important, the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex.


Fred Rocafort  1:05 

We hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. Please connect with us on social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests.


Welcome, everyone to Harris Bricken Global law and Business co hosting today with me is Andrew Smith. And our guest is Chris Campbell, Senior Counsel at Baker Hughes and host of the Tales of the Tribunal podcast. Chris, welcome to the podcast.


Chris Campbell  1:40 

Hey, thanks for having me. Glad to be here. Podcast to podcast.


Fred Rocafort  1:44 

Yeah, I know, I know. We’re gonna have to pick your brain a little bit. I was actually listening to some of your shows earlier and already took some notes, things we can learn from you. But to get things going, please tell us about yourself. I’m going to take a cue from from what you did with one of one of your guests. Tell us everything there is to know.


Chris Campbell  2:04 

Sure. Yeah, I’m glad to get into that. And again, thanks for having me here on the podcast. And I appreciate your time and chance to spend some time with your audience today. So my name is Chris Campbell. I hail from the great state of South Carolina go Gamecocks. Oh and well look, I know that I don’t want to ruffle too many feathers. I know you guys come from from the other side of the country. But I grew up there in a town called irmo, South Carolina went to the University of South Carolina undergraduate where I did a dual degree in business and a minor in Chinese language and culture, which was my first opportunity to go study abroad in China. And from that moment forward from my sophomore year, I was hooked and went from there to come came back, finished up a collegiate athletic career and track and field spent a lot of time spinning around throwing the discus, and the hammer. And from there went on to law school, also at the University of South Carolina. I did my first two years there. And then I moved to a city called Beijing, China, where I did a master’s in Chinese law and international dispute resolution, stayed there for a little bit longer working for a couple of different Chinese law firms doing cross border m&a dispute resolution, before coming back to the great state of South Carolina to work as a law clerk for a judicial and a judicial clerkship. After that, I worked in private practice for a couple of years, and then got an opportunity to work for Baker Hughes in Florence. And now when they offered me the job in Florence, there’s a Florence, South Carolina as well as some of you listeners may be aware. So when they made me the offer, I wondered, was it now Florence, Florence or Florence as in Florence, South Carolina, so. So it was good to have an opportunity to go work in Italy. And now a couple of years later, there in between? I still work for Baker Hughes now as Senior Counsel of litigation.


Andrew Smith  3:52 

That’s awesome. Very, very interesting background for sure. Now, Chris, you’ve hosted your podcast, Tales of the Tribunal for two years now, what inspired you to create a podcast centered around international law?


Chris Campbell  4:05 

So how did I get inspired to do the show? So actually, this is a topic that we addressed. In the middle of this current season of Tales of the Tribunal. There was a show called and there was there is a show called the arbitration station. It is a fantastic podcast run by three folks based all based here in London now or in the Europe, I guess, Satyavati Joel Dahlquist and Brian Kotick and they do a fantastic job of talking about topics in a very academic sense, but also just a very Matter of fact, contemporary issue contemporary way about international arbitration topics. And they’ve been doing that since 2017, with Brian and Joel, and in Saudi joined them last year. And as I saw that, I thought that was a great conversation, but I thought that there was maybe an additional parallel niche in there. There are so many fascinating individuals that work in international law and in particular international dispute resolution. You’ll go to conferences and you’ll be having a cup of coffee and your sales. So what are you going to do after this? And you’re like, Oh, I’m going to teach my flamingos Brazilian jujitsu like, like, Wait, what? Why do you run that back? You gotta you know, tell me some more about that. And so I wanted to be able to tell the stories of those people to get to know them a little bit more, take pull back the curtain a bit and get to know the folks that make international dispute resolution turn. And so that’s what we’ve tried to do for the last, now two and a half, almost three seasons of the show. And it literally started with no microphone, you know, with literally me and like a hotel room at a conference in my laptop, just trying to record and trying to like, figure out how to edit. And we’ve come a long way, I’ve kind of tricked my little brothers into helping me out. And you know, that’s where to get the music from. And you know, they’re much better at it than I am so. So yeah, that’s kind of how it started and how it’s going.


Fred Rocafort  6:00 

So how has the podcasting influenced your views of international law and business topics? I mean, I know that for me, definitely I benefit greatly from from talking to guests like you who can offer new perspectives, point me in the direction of new things, new approaches, how has that worked out for you? And perhaps you might have a concrete example of how the podcasting has really made an impact, like practical impact on your career?


Chris Campbell  6:30 

Yeah, you know, I guess this might be the part two as an answer to your first question. You know, so aside from being inspired by the arbitration station, you know, a little secret here, trade secret is, and having a podcast, it’s really a nice backdoor into having really interesting conversations with people that are prominent that are thought leaders that are doing important work around the field. And so exactly, that’s the heart I think of your second question is that I am learning constantly. And, you know, what ends up being actually released to the public, is the show is sort of the conversation boiled down to what we think is interesting. But you know, I’m constantly taking notes during the original interview, and then in the setup, and then even post about the various topics that the guests are talking about, because these are conversations that one would might not otherwise would have, you know, you asked about a concrete example, if you go back to season two, we had an interview with Frederico asked, and Sophie knapford, who both are doing some things with the operation called claros, which is sort of this, you know, though, a, pardon me for using the non technical term, but basically, it’s crowdsourcing dispute resolution. And, you know, as while it’s something that I had heard about, and kind of read, you know, kind of in passing, to have a really sort of in depth conversation with both of them about the future of technology dispute resolution, and what it looks like to, to to sort of have people all over the world helping make decisions on these cases and getting rewarded with cryptocurrency. I mean, that was a really fascinating talk. So there’s all sorts of conversations like that, that are happening.


Andrew Smith  8:10 

That’s great. That sounds really fascinating. I know, I as well have learned quite a bit from the guests that have come on to Global Law and Business. So I definitely can attest to how it has enlarged my ability to think about international law and business topics for sure. So you work on the the Senior Counsel for Baker Hughes, and you’ve been working in Florence, Italy, you talked about a little bit what what exactly brought you to Florence, Italy, what’s the business law atmosphere like there and how especially is advantageous for for the oil industry?


Chris Campbell  8:44 

What brought me to Italy. Rizotto, wine and really good sunshine 70% of the year. But, you know, I joke a little bit, it was just really an interesting and unique opportunity. At the time that I joined. One of the global litigation leaders was a guy named Mike mackel Rath, who is pretty prominent figure in the world of international arbitration, and an opportunity to sort of work parallel and an under sort of his supervision was was I mean, it’s hard to get that sort of opportunity. So Baker Hughes is and this is not a, you know, a trade secret. In particular, we’re very active and managing our disputes in terms of making sure that, you know, we’re doing the best business, this business based or commercial minded decision when it comes to management mediation, or an arbitration or negotiation. And so, seeing how that can look in a very practical sense, I think, was a major reasons why I took the job in Florence. And the work that I was getting to do was not just in Europe, it was based in Africa and China, cases in the United States, all parts of the world. So the work that I was doing before that was not The most internationally minded are focused and and I wanted to sort of expand my portfolio, my work portfolio to that. And it helped that my then fiance was based in Florida, based in Lisbon. So it gave me an excuse to be in Europe. You asked also I think about the oil and gas industry. Yeah, I mean, you can imagine that the energy sector as a whole, but also, oil and gas in particular, is going through a massive transformation with the climate crisis that a number of countries are facing and the need to sort of develop other revenue streams or alternatives and technologies, as the demands for the planet change in terms of energy. I mean, those are all to be on the cutting edge of all those things, was hugely important. It’s, the last thing I would say about it is that it’s kind of funny, because folks may not think of Baker Hughes as a technology company, but I mean, we’re building technology, that is going to be part of the conversation for the next step in human evolution. So, you know, we may not be Facebook or Google, but we’re in that same stratosphere.


Fred Rocafort  10:59 

So sort of following up on these general topics. What appeals to you about working in house? What are some general thoughts you might you might have on that? There’s certainly a lot of lawyers working at firms that might even perhaps, I think, in some cases, romanticize. Right? What that but that work is, and then they they make the jump. I mean, I’ve had some experience working in house. So I’ve seen some of that as well already. But perhaps not necessarily a reality check. I think just give some some context and some nuance to what that actually looks like, especially for someone who might again, only be looking at part of it. You you’ve got your lawyers who have lunch with with in House counsel and go back to the office thinking like, Man, I wish I was doing that, you know, I wish I was telling someone else what to do, maybe give us a more complete picture of of what in house work entails.


Chris Campbell  11:51 

Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a great question. I think it does depend a lot on what company you’re in house at. I’ve seen the gambit of experiences, and and what’s your daily life might look like? You know, I can say it Baker Hughes. Again, I guess that depends on your department. And this is the litigation team. As I mentioned, a few moments ago, we’re pretty active, you know, we definitely don’t have the attitude or the mindset that, okay, a legal problem comes up, pick up the phone immediately call external counsel and just farm it out. And that’s that’s the way that it goes. But, you know, even if it were, there are just so many conversations, there’s so many issues and things that you don’t appreciate, as an external counsel, that you have to deal with, you know, the sort of thought process of doing the legal work, and the things that external counsel get paid a lot to do. That’s not necessarily the most important thing. When you’re in house. Sure, getting the right legal answer might be important. But so too, and often more so especially from your colleagues perspective, is doing the thing that’s going to increase, the bottom line is going to have your stock price jump, it’s going to be the CEO, you know, call and say, Hey, we’ll call that shot in a positive context. And I think that that’s something that is unique, that, you know, external counsel might be aware that these are some of the things that we’re dealing with. But having to actively deal with the sort of Baptists balancing act is something that’s very real and part of everyday life, especially as at the time we’re having this conversation. It’s early July, you know, the quarter just ended, I mean, having those conversations with accounting to say, okay, we ended up spending more or less here, or do we end up actually winning that case is the settlement been paid? All those things are, are very real metrics by how you’ll be evaluated and how you’d be looked at. So I think, if you have a business background, if you’d like, you know, having some sort of meaningful impact on the commercial conversations, I think that is a good those are things that you can get into as a legal in house, sort of representative and counsel. And also, it’s just something that it takes some getting used to, it’s not for everybody, just like working in a law firm is not for everybody, I will say it is nice, not having to divide my life into eight to six minute chunks anymore. That is that it is nice to have a little bit of that autonomy back. But at the same time, you know, there there’s also this sort of misconception that, you know, when you go in house, you don’t work as much that you have less time, you know, again, that a legal problem lands on your desk, and he’s called external counsel, and it’s gone. No, I mean, while Yes, you might use external counsel to handle some of the issues. That’s only because you need more time to do other stuff. And that that’s kind of the reality of it


Fred Rocafort  14:39 

Just following up on that Istarted my career in government. And there were misconceptions of that sort as well. And one thing, for example, that folks who haven’t had a chance to work in government don’t realize is just how much time you waste on an admin stuff that you wouldn’t have to bother with in the in the private sector, at least not usually. I mean, for example, if I need to travel to it attend the conference these days, it’s a very streamlined process matter of minutes really to sort of at least get the green light, and then the reimbursements and all that, it’s it’s pretty straightforward. And then in government, and again, there’s a good reason for that you’re using taxpayer money for that travel. So there has to be that accounting, there was a time when I was working in the Foreign Service, where I estimated that I was spending close to a third of my time on admin stuff, just the forms that had to be filled out. I mean, there was the the record keeping requirements, right. So it might seem from the outside as well, if they’re not doing that much work. But the but the reality is, there’s something else to it, there’s that hidden dimension, and regarding what you said about that perspective that working in house gives you? Absolutely I mean, I’ve had the opportunity to work with counsel and in other jurisdictions playing an in house role or something along those lines, serving as the link between a corporate client and counsel in other jurisdictions, and very often you run across folks who are very good at what they do. They take their lawyer and very seriously, but that’s one of the the friction areas that arises you have people who say, Well, listen, we have a chance to make history here, you know, we have a chance to really change the way our local Supreme Court views, you know, trademark infringement and go back to the client. And the client will say, Well, look, I mean, we don’t have an interest in this, you know, we get that, but we were not in a position to be to be funding that endeavor. And then of course, local counsel might say, Well, yeah, but if we don’t do this representing a client like yours, then it’s never gonna happen. So you do have that, that that friction there. But absolutely, it’s great perspective. And I have to say that for me, personally, the time I spent working and regular businesses, where there’s that concern over budgets, and and the bottom line is incredibly helpful. And the reality is, I can see, when I interact with attorneys who who don’t have that experience, right, you can, you can see the different approaches and the different viewpoints, I have to admit sometimes, and when it comes to those, you know, six minute increments, I feel the pain, right of the of the client, because I’ve been on the other side, and try it to the extent that I can to be to be conscious of their concerns.


Chris Campbell  17:21 

Yeah, and I think, you know, in turn, kind of responding to one of the things that you just said, it’s easy to sort of feel this little tension or a little bit of exhaustion, with administrative things, or filling out paperwork, and forms and all those things. And it seems kind of pointless, or you know, sort of few dial until it’s not until there’s an audit until there’s a lawsuit that needs to look at those documents in particular. And then you’re glad that you filed these things. And you’re glad that so and so in accounting kept up with these records. I mean, there are cases that we’ve had, where, you know, the other side is being a fire breathing dragon and trying to, you know, tell us about how we’re a dirty company, and basically the next Enron and then we pull out our accountant who kept very meticulous notes about where everything went, or the engineer who had the daily work log every year for the last seven years, makes a difference. And it is exhausting. And I’m not going to say I love paperwork or anything like that. But he started to see the value in it, I guess, maybe the more veteran the more seasoned that you get, I guess.


Andrew Smith  18:26 

I wanted to shift now to China, you spent a year studying in Beijing, as you mentioned, and studying Chinese law in Chinese language. And I just like to know how kind of what inspired you to study Chinese and Chinese law? And how has that influenced the direction of your career path?


Chris Campbell  18:47 

So I’m going to give you the extended answer. And this is going to be breaking news, because I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this publicly. Maybe just family friends. So I was a huge in this, this part is public knowledge. I’m a huge nerd. And coming out of high school, I was really into like anime and video games, Japanese culture, all that kind of stuff. And I wanted to go to Japan. And you know, you kind of have those conversations that one might have with a mentor or, you know, a parent and I kind of told my plan to my dad, and dad being, you know, regular reader of The Wall Street Journal and all these sorts of business things. He goes, Well, this is at a time when China was seeing that that double digit, you know, economic GDP growth year over year, you know, now get into the details as to why that was, but it was huge economic growth. And my dad, I guess, was kind of pointing at, you know, the long term vision potential for having the ability to have some ability to speak Chinese language, to have some familiarity with the culture to to be, you know, an American or a Westerner that has some familiarity and ability to sort of fluently move through the culture and just being comfortable in China. And so we said, okay, well maybe you can do the Japan thing. They didn’t go there on vacation or something. Why don’t you take Chinese as an undergrad instead. And literally, that’s what started it. The more School of Business out of the University of South Carolina has a rinette, world renowned International Business Program. In particular, its relationship with doing business in China was one of the few schools that was having this sort of deep connection with it. And so I enrolled in the Chinese minor. And the rest is history, I got a scholarship from the Confucius Institutes to go study in China. And they did a summer there, I will mention this at the risk of knowing that the internet never forgets. One of the reasons why we got the scholarship was because we did, our class did this tribute song was to the Olympic song at the time, Beijing. So it was basically you and I, and was doing with a song partnered with Beijing. And we dressed up in traditional Chinese garb. And there’s this really classic moment at the end of the video where me and my buddy who was like six four like, embrace at the end of the video, and it played on like local Chinese television. And we got this huge scholarship to go study for a summer in China. And so all of those things sort of culminated together, from my experience with Chinese language, and then culture, and then going back to study at Ching, wah, and then working at Jong moon and high wind partners and Beijing after my graduation. All of those things sort of built the narrative around China. And it’s kind of been just part of my life since then, it’s been a large amount of time there and planning to continue to, to work and be there from time to time.


Fred Rocafort  21:38 

I think you alluded to this earlier, but just kind of go into it a little bit more, did this your work take you to China, do you travel there for business.


Chris Campbell  21:46 

So in my work in Baker Hughes, while we’ve had some matters, that have dealt with China, in, you know, with some, you know, regularity, where I’ve had to, you know, make contacts and be familiar with what’s going on contemporarily, I haven’t had to travel to China yet for work, in part because of the pandemic, and all travel was stopped. But I imagine at some point in the future, you know, we still do work in that part of the world. So whether it be in Hong Kong or Singapore, or mainland or anything like that, I could imagine a future where I need to go there either for an arbitration or mediation, or, you know, maybe just hopefully, indigo, maybe even negotiating a deal, some keeping things positive.


Fred Rocafort  22:28 

Given your perspective, you’ve lived in China studied there, compared to the average American, you have a lot more exposure to to the country and to into the culture. So with that perspective, maybe you could offer just some general thoughts on the direction of the US China relationship and how things are going there. Again, we don’t have to make it controversial, but just perhaps, what would you like to see in terms of how that relationship develops at the level of the average citizen? Right, not maybe, you know, we can’t change what the government does. But there’s certainly a social dimension to it. Right? I mean, people here in the US just as they do in China, right, they they have their their opinions and their and their viewpoints. Do you think that there’s work to be done in that sense, in terms of educating people better as to what China is all about? And then to maybe try to reach some level of understanding that doesn’t necessarily mean we accept the Chinese viewpoints and everything. But just as a way of finding middle ground? Just we’d love to hear your thoughts on this general topic.


Chris Campbell  23:26 

So So yes, and you raised a few issues there. And we’ll start with the last one, I think they’re you know, I don’t know the specific percentage or number. But there was some study that says that some larger than you would think number of Americans actually never leave the country. And I think that whether it’s China or someplace in Europe or Africa, wherever you might find yourself, if you don’t have an opportunity to go beyond the ground, to meet those people to be involved in their culture, and much of the way that other parts of the world are sort of, at least, it’s some extent familiar with American culture, the more media, I think it’s very easy to sort of otherize, or to make people in another country just to sort of faceless mass, the Chinese, the, you know, the British, you know, they’re just they become these stereotypical sort of cartoon characters in your mind, and I think travel sort of dilutes that a bit. You know, it’s much harder to sort of just write off, oh, all the Chinese think this way, you know, when you’ve actually been there and you’ve met people, you got Chinese friends, you’ve had Chinese, like proper Chinese food in China. Then it is if you only experience is as someone that lives in the middle in Middle America, or that will never leave their country. And I think that that if we could achieve that, I think, and by the way, the same is true for China, Chinese people leaving China and having an opportunity to go and engage with other parts of the world. Now, of course, the natural conclusion will then be that the understanding and the cultural appreciation, and this is not even getting to the language issues will be limited. And as long as there’s that sort of arm’s length, and maybe even slightly hostile sort of feeling between the two powers, that sort of trickles down to the populations. And I think when you have leadership that are saying these sorts of incident Tory language, calling things like Kung Fu, and China virus, all of those types of things, that’s only going, that’s not a kind of conversation starter, that can be a bridge, even if the other side wanted to be more hospitable. It’s easy enough for the average Chinese person to hear that sort of language and to just assume that that’s how all Americans think. And that’s how they feel. So we want to, you know, retaliate, and do something similar. And that doesn’t help anyone. So I think, yes, there. Right. Now, undoubtedly, the relationship between the two countries are strained. And we’re not exactly looking cozy in the near future. But I don’t think that it has to be like that. I don’t think that the issues that the United States has with China, and they are many, and they across a number of things, we won’t talk, too, specifically for a few reasons, are many, and I think that similarly, you know, China has issues with things that are the way the United States does its business. So I think before you can either get into the substance of either one of those talking points, sets of talking points, you have to at least start with a basic modicum of understanding and respect. This is not, you know, the Cold War era, this is not a situation where you want military or armed conflicts. So if you want to see some growth in a positive relationship between the two countries, it’s got to start with a basic level of respect from the leadership. And that can for those listening that starts with individual citizenry, how well do you know the other side the people on you know that you’re calling the Chinese or the Americans


Fred Rocafort  26:59 

Andrew is going to be asking us for recommendations. But before we do that goes without saying that we want to include your podcast as a recommendation. We don’t want to single out any guests, you know, they’re all great. I’m, I’m sure you feel the same way about yours. But for someone who who’s listening, and who’s saying, I got to check this out, but they’re going to look at a long list of episodes, what would be perhaps a recommendation or two as to where they should start? I know, that’s a tricky question. And then it’s going to depend on the on the person but if someone had 30 minutes of their time, and then you wanted to try to snag them as a regular listener, where would you point them to?


Chris Campbell  27:33 

I’ll give the easy ones first, the ones that would come up immediately out of this season. So I think, in today that we talked Today is July 1, is a special day for a number of reasons. Not only is the start of a new month, but you have Claudia Solomon, taking over as the president of the court of AI, the ICC court, she starts her term, she’s the first woman to sit in that position. And she was guest number one for season three. So she says she’s fascinating. She’s just a cool individual to talk with. Your boss, Dan Harris did an episode. Episode Five of Season Three is a great one to talk to. And listen back to this. Dan just has a fantastic and really interesting career. The episodes which vineya Wachtell and Sneha ash the car burn episode seven and eight from this season, both really great as well. In that’s not to say I’m adding the own my own caveat. Again, the other episodes aren’t great, but I’m saying that if you want to get a good flavor of the show, those are really good ones to do. You know, if you’ve got more time, more than 30 minutes or so, and you wanted to take a step back to season two episodes two and three with Ben Davis are just a fantastic sort of masterclass on what it was like starting as a as a black lawyer in international arbitration. And there’s the sort of things that one has to deal with and sort of the trials and tribulations of that. And the impact of the one can have on the field, even if you don’t have to necessarily be on the front lines. I think episode Queen a ball tag is a good one. And you know what, I’m going to stop naming out specific ones here before you I don’t want to you know, make anyone upset. But there are those are a couple of good ones out of season two, Season One is great. Um, you know, all of those are insightful, and, you know, bear with me, because the audio will undoubtedly, it gets worse than earlier in time you go because I didn’t have a microphone, and we are well aware of that. So bear with me, but I mean, I think all the episodes were great. All everyone has, as I said at the beginning of the interview, every one of the people that we’ve interviewed has this really interesting backstory or something cool that they do that you wouldn’t expect necessarily. And I think that’s what’s great about listening to these conversations because you get to pull back the curtain in that way.


Andrew Smith  29:45 

Chris, I totally agree with what you were saying earlier about travel. I know when I was in Spain, I had the opportunity to get to know people from all over the world and having studied geography quite a bit in Before I went to Spain for the first time, it was a total game changer to actually be there and actually meet people from 70 or 80 different countries kind of have a, an idea of kind of what the people are like. And that that was probably the most enriching and special part about being in Spain or really just traveling abroad anywhere for me. wanted to ask you, what are some fields of law that you see potential for up and coming practitioners.


Chris Campbell  30:29 

So I’ll start with the thing that is taking up a lot of my extracurricular time. I have an article that’s forthcoming next month or later this year, depending on when you listen to it on space law, and the sort of industry that’s coming up around that, and how there’s a lot written about the fact that there’s not a lot written, but you know, you have, you know, tourism issues you have mining and energy and you know, sovereignty issues about wall that is going to look like and we need desperately need more scholars, especially from the spacefaring nations, but from all over the globe to help tackle these issues, because it may have seen far off, but we are now reaching the point where humans are going to begin the adventure of living in space. And that is something that we will probably I don’t know how well we’ll see that within our lifetime. But that is something that’s certainly right on the horizon. I think, you know, some of the easier ones are the ones that have become a little bit more mainstream, you know, data privacy, that has become an increasingly huge issue from that issue that the United States has had, with its securing its data privacy infrastructure, and that that many countries have had all over all over the world dealing with how you sort of navigate that while still allowing people their liberty and the ability to sort of do commerce in an effective and efficient means. cryptocurrency blockchain, those are, you know, words that you can just say, and you know, at a dinner party, and someone will be like, oh, that guy’s sharp, but but I mean, they’re really interesting fields of business as well, there’s a lot of money moving through those through those channels. I think eSports is something that’s often overlooked. And it’s something that, you know, it’s just one of those things I would really love to read about and write about more myself, but you know, that you had a couple of kids over the last couple of years, when millions of dollars from winning like a Fortnite tournament, I mean, that’s where the money goes, that’s where there are these interesting fields of law, environmental law, you know, with climate issues, as we’ve talked about before, property rights and water law, I mean, all of those types of things, I think, are worth spending some time working. But I think even of all those things, and this will be my 30 seconds of a soapbox, no matter what it is, you’ve got to make time to, to give back to, to your community. And to make the world a little bit better. I mean, that’s, I think our charge as lawyers as legal scholars, that we set the parameters for how our societies will act and operate. And then if we don’t do it, it leaves a vacuum for authoritarians and for bad actors. And so we must be vigilant. And that’s how lawyers can affect change and human rights capacity.


Fred Rocafort  33:10 

Let me just follow up on that very briefly. I was listening to a video on YouTube. And here’s an area that I hadn’t thought of. But this guy’s sort of mentioned that. And I think it’s going to be a fascinating area for those that jump into it. And it’s the intersection between blockchain and crypto and state law. He was talking about how some Bitcoin billionaire died. And there’s questions now as to as to how that’s, that’s going to be handled. And as, as this guy pointed out, you know, people say, well, it’ll be handled in the same way that any other asset is. And he’s like, Well, yeah, but it’s not any any other asset. Right. So I think that’s, that’s gonna be interesting. And I’ll be honest, I had not heard of the term ever just tells you about my levels of coolness. But when we were in the middle of the exclusion process for the tariffs that were imposed, during the last administration, we were working with a lot of companies that wanted to to obtain an exclusion from from the tariffs. And of course, central to that entire process is being able to demonstrate that there’s no alternative source, and you have to demonstrate that your product is pretty unique. So I remember working with a client who makes very fancy chairs, which at first glance, just kind of looked like, like a really cool desk chair. But they said no, no, these are specifically for eSports. You know, these are these are for competitive gamers. And I looked at it right. I mean, I think I couldn’t see any technological feature that might make them a little bit different, right? But the connection is that these people spend a lot of time sitting down, right, and they need to have their drinks and the sound needs to be just there. So so absolutely. I had no idea as you pointed out, I mean, this is the spec business. Yeah, I would have never thought of it but once I started digging into it, again, one of those fields that one might not think of it


Chris Campbell  34:59 

There’s no regulation. I mean, you know, with a dispute happens between two eSports teams, or between an esport team and its players or leagues, or let’s say, you’re playing a Starcraft tournament. I mean, that’s okay. That’s a little bit. I’m old now. But let’s play say you’re playing, you know, one of these tournaments and let’s say, a power goes off, or, you know, the ugly a game glitches. I mean, what are the protocols? And what are the dispute resolution mechanisms for deciding how that would play out? I mean, the answer is right now, there’s no guidance. It’s just whoever, however the event makers want to do it. And that’s, that’s cool. And all until someone loses a few million dollars, because you decided that we’ll say want to still contemporary Street Fighter because you decided that you knew you don’t want to give a hoot Oaken opportunity to the  a replay. I mean, what what is that going to mean for the for the payout? So it’s important.


Fred Rocafort  35:50 

Yeah. And you can be sure that there will be lawyers ready to take things to the to the next level? Right. When those you know, there’s going to be someone there, you know, is getting ready to make it into a judicial dispute? Well, Chris, this has been a fascinating conversation there, there’s so much more that that we’d like to talk about, I’m going to go ahead and present an invitation at some point to have you come back and sort of follow up on some of the topics that we discussed. But before we sign off, I’d like to ask you for any recommendations other than your podcast that that you might have for us.


Chris Campbell  36:23 

So, recommendations. So I read at the beginning of the year, I finally got around to talking with strangers from Malcolm Gladwell. That was a fantastic book. And yeah, I guess I had my impressions, I kind of thought it was gonna be another one of these books that talks about how divided and how political things were in the United States. But it took some really interesting turns. And I think, and I don’t want to spoil it. So I think it’s actually really worth taking a look at. And I think, yeah, that’s probably the biggest book recommendation I’d have for right now. I’m enjoying right now high on the hog from Netflix, which gets into culinary delights, United States in particular talks about my, my home state of South Carolina and some of the African American roots there. So I think that those are, are important topics and things to get into. And then if you wanting something that’s a little bit more culturally based, you know, I’ve been reading a lot of W.B. Dubois and his kind of writings about race relations, and the voices of the oppressed people, and in particular, black folks in the United States. And I think for the moment in time we find ourselves and as a country, I think that those are things that are worth revisiting, because it shows how much and how little things change over the course of some time, but I appreciate the opportunity to come on to talk to you guys, before I get out of here. I will give a shout out to another guest of you guys from some time ago, Mark McLawhorn I don’t know if you’ll hear this. But Mark. Hey, I see you I look forward to seeing you and everyone else back home. And you know, we’ll have to catch up sometime. So thank you guys for having me. And I look forward coming back.


Fred Rocafort  38:02 

Fantastic guy. There’s a couple of other guests that I want to talk to you about once we sign off people that you might want to get in touch with if you don’t know them already. Andrew, any recommendations from you?


Andrew Smith  38:13 

Yeah, my recommendation today is an article written by a former professor of mine. It’s called Advancing Sustainable Development with FDI why policy must be reset. And this is just a topic that I’ve been really interested in for a long time kind of understanding how foreign direct investment can like what are the actual effects on host countries with regards to development, and especially in this day and age, sustainable development. So it’s really good, informative article that answered a lot of the questions that I had, with some very interesting policy conclusions as well. Fred, what about you?


Fred Rocafort  38:52 

So Chris, you mentioned Malcolm Gladwell so just to follow up on that. He has his his podcast revisionist history, and he had a few episodes on the I think it was on the bombur mafia. Well, we’ll include the proper links on our page. But that was a fascinating, fascinating podcast, really, really enjoyed it. This was during World War Two really enjoy the sort of while talking about a bunch of different things, but including the ethics of these bombing campaigns that were carried out. And anyway, so second, Gladwell recommendation of the episode. So Chris, again, thank you so much for joining us really, really appreciate it. We’ll definitely look up some of those episodes that that you recommended, and of course, encourage everyone out there to have a listen.


Chris Campbell  39:35 

Thank you so much for having me, see you around.


Jonathan Bench  39:40 

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode, we look forward to connecting with you on social media to continue discussing developments in global law and business. This podcast was produced by Harris Bricken with executive producer Madeline Williams music composed by Stephen Schmid. Tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then.


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