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School of Law

Stephen Buck


PhD Student



Thesis title

Virtual Worlds – Virtual Governance


Professor Chris Reed and Dr Julia Hörnle


Millions of people spend significant portions of their lives playing and working in virtual worlds. Since it is therefore only a question of time until litigation will follow, it is necessary to understand the governance of those worlds to finally decide whether real-world laws should intervene and govern virtual worlds or whether virtual worlds should be governed by the rules of the game alone.


  • When Worlds Collide – Virtual Property and Real World Legal Systems [June 2008] 19(2) Society for Computers and Law 38-40.
  • UK: police use of universal forensic extraction devices [April 2009] 6(4) Data Protection Law & Policy 8-9.


Stephan is a part-time PhD student at Queen Mary University of London and Associate at Preiskel & Co LLP, a London City law firm specialised in the telecommunications, technology and media sectors. After qualifying as a lawyer in Germany he completed his LLM in Intellectual Property Law at Queen Mary, University of London. During his LLM Stephan won the Annual Law Essay Prize 2008 of the Society for Computers and Law with his essay 'Virtual Properties and Virtual Economies: How should activities with economic consequences in virtual worlds like Second Life and EverQuest be dealt with by real world legal systems?'.