What do you do?
It’s hard to put your arms around data law – so it’s difficult to give a precise definition of what I’m doing at any particular time. I’m lucky enough to be in a place that allows me to do lots of different types of data law with a really broad set of colleagues with complementary practice areas.
What drew you to your area of practice?
My mother was a computer programmer, even before most households had computers in them. She was ahead of her time and inspired an interest in all things technology- and data-related. Working in the data, technology and commercial space means that I’m always dealing with relatable facts – I can picture what clients are talking about, what the impacts on everyday people and businesses might be, and that really interests me.
I’m currently enjoying working on accelerator projects that use data in innovative way, although I can’t give too much away about those . . . I’ve done projects where the client has saved over a billion, come through an investigation unscathed, done things it never thought it could or produced something that really changes lives. But day to day, the highest highs in my career have always been about working with great teams.
Advice for young lawyers?
Don’t just spot issues, also identify solutions, remedies and safeguards. Have a good network of people who touch different aspects of data whom you can share ideas with and bounce things off. It really helps to understand how commercial contracts and the wider world works as well: don’t be too black letter, make sure your advice is realistic and user-friendly. Also, you’re going to have to keep reading lots and lots of guidance and deal with evolving technology, so you will never be able to say you’ve mastered it once and for all. You’d better like learning!
What’s everyone talking about at the moment?
In no particular order, everyone’s talking about how sick and tired they are of receiving GDPR marketing emails; Cambridge Analytica; whether they’re behind on the innovation, robotics and digital front; how to work with start-ups; whether sourcing is dead; and how data is now the most valuable asset of most organisations and what that means for competition.
What do you do to relax?
Play video games, sadly!