Tell us about your professional history.
I studied in Dublin, the US and Belgium. I was a researcher at the Law Reform Commission, I tutored at the National University of Ireland in Dublin and Galway, and I trained and qualified with A&L Goodbody. Two years post-qualification I moved to London to join Slaughter and May’s IP/IT group; before returning to A&L Goodbody, I joined the technology group at Olswang (now CMS).
What drew you to your area of practice?
As a junior lawyer, it was a developing area of law. It was one that I could get stuck into, take ownership of and develop an expertise.
Rejoining A&L Goodbody’s commercial and technology team as a partner has been a highlight. It had a real sense of homecoming.
Advice for young lawyers?
Show your enthusiasm for the area. Get involved with all things data within and outside your organisation.
If you hadn’t been a lawyer...
I almost joined An Garda Síochána, the Irish police. I also almost became a teacher. I went so far as to do the interview for teacher training for history and the Irish language, Gaeilge.
What will data lawyers be advising on in 10 years?
Data will continue to be key. The digital age will evolve with innovation, AI and robotics. The GDPR and EU e-Privacy Regulation will still be the cornerstone of EU data protection legislation. This will throw up societal and legal challenges for individuals, businesses, advisers, regulators and the judiciary. Legislatures will consider if these challenges can be met by a GDPR and e-Privacy 2.0, or whether it is time for wholesale reform.
Most significant current trend in your jurisdiction?
Interest in what the enforcement priorities of Ireland’s Data Protection Commission will be are centre stage for many businesses. The potential for the DPC to influence the development of European and international data protection laws has increased exponentially over the past number of years.
What do you do to relax?
I run ultras. I have done ultras here in Ireland and abroad including the Kerry Way Ultra (120 miles in consecutive 40 hours), Wicklow Way Ultra, Glacier Lakes, the Marathon des Sables (twice!) and Transgrancanaria.