Posted by Michel Maus

As artificial intelligence has become more and more of a hot topic, it seems like metaverse has faded somewhat into the background. But that is only appearances. Recent developments by tech giants like Apple and Meta, with the unveiling of VisionPro headsets and Ray-Ban smart glasses, respectively, just show that metaverse is continuing to evolve. And government, academia, business and civil society are also showing more interest in the metaverse from along the way, with metaverse governance and value creation in particular. Metaverse is alive and kicking, that much is clear.


And metaverse also offers a lot of prospects in the economic field. The World Economic Forum estimates that the economic impact of the metaverse will reach at least $1.91 trillion by 2030 and as much as $4.44 trillion in an optimistic scenario. So the impact of the metaverse is huge and offers a lot of prospects for almost all sectors, including the legal profession.

First, there are many legal challenges for the metaverse itself, in which lawyers can play an important role. The digital world of the metaverse is a new world that requires new regulations. And until these new regulations are created, answers must be sought to many legal questions that will arise in the metaverse.

The first question we can already ask is who governs the metaverse. International law stipulates that states possess sovereignty on land, sea and air. But what about the virtual world? Can states assert their sovereignty even this virtual world? Dubai and Seoul, for example, are building twin cities in the metaverse. Who then decides what rules will apply within these virtual twins?

And within just about every branch of law too, the metaverse will pose special problems. In employment law, for example, the question of who owns an avatar or a hologram will have to be answered. Is it the employee or the employer? In family law, we will have to deal with digital immortality. Can heirs allow a deceased person to continue living digitally in the form of an avatar or a hologram? And what about digital real estate in, say, Decentraland? Should we provide building regulations here? And what about the legal status of DAOs, the ‘decentralised autonomous organisations’? And let us not forget dispute resolution in case of problems in the metaverse. Where should we locate this dispute? Which law should be applied and which courts have jurisdiction?

This is only a brief overview of the many legal questions that will arise in the metaverse and that lawyers will have to deal with.

But not only in the legal field, also in the economic field the metaverse offers opportunities for the legal profession, and we already see lawyers taking the first careful steps in the metaverse. Mainly in the USA, there are already several law firms branding themselves as metaverse lawyers and VR-injury lawyers and trying to make a business case for compliance and litigation in the metaverse.


But that, of course, is the only opportunity that presents itself for the legal profession. Seminars, meetings with clients, it can all be done in a virtual environment within the metaverse. As can dispute resolution. In Columbia, Judge Maria Quinones Triana’s organised a first hearing in Horizon World (Meta) on 15 February 2023. ( Colombia court moves to metaverse to host hearing | Reuters ) And meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Global Market Arbitration Centre has also enabled mediation in the metaverse. (

Meanwhile, quite a few law firms have also set up offices in the metaverse. Canadian lawyer Madaline Zannes, for example ( Bing Video’s ), who also founded the Metaverse Bar Association. ( And Belgian metaverse company Threedee World has even built its own metaverse for the legal community Lawland ( Fairtual Technologies | Lawland ) with its own Lawland app. ( (1) Lawland | For Legal & Finance – Support Creators Content )

So the metaverse is here to stay, and will have a huge impact on the legal profession as well. Stay tuned.


#metaverse #dao #advocatuur

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