I originally qualified as a technology transactions lawyer at Osborne Clarke, covering the full gamut of licensing and outsourcing deals to advising on e-commerce and digital regulatory matters, with some privacy. Osborne Clarke had an office in the Silicon Valley, so when the opportunity to do a secondment in California came up, I leapt at the chance and found myself boarding a flight for San Francisco in April 2014. As I immersed myself into work in the Bay Area, it quickly became clear that most of my clients needed EU privacy advice, particularly in the wake of the fall of the Safe Harbor Scheme and in the run-up to the GDPR coming into effect. Realising privacy was both a really interesting and growing area, I dedicated myself to becoming an EU privacy specialist and switched firms to work in the Fieldfisher Silicon Valley team in January 2016.
What drew you to your area of practice?
Data protection law is constantly evolving but not fast enough to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change and emerging data uses, so privacy lawyers have to creatively interpret the law and boundaries of acceptable compliance to enable our clients to strike an acceptable balance between innovation, monetisation and respect for an individual’s human right to privacy.
Influences and mentors?
Mark Webber is my current boss and someone I’ve worked since my days at Osborne Clarke. It was Mark who encouraged me to move to Silicon Valley and without his support and encouragement I definitely wouldn’t have got this far! Phil Lee is also a brilliant privacy lawyer and all-round great guy that I feel very lucky to work with.
What will data lawyers be advising on 10 years from now?
As [GDPR] issues get more complex and the case law, codes of practice and regulatory guidance develop, I anticipate that the field will split into further specialisms – potentially based on industry and/or subject.
What do you do to relax?
I am a gym junkie and love to work out in my spare time or do anything active (whether running or cycling). I am also currently trying to master surfing! My husband and I also love to travel and are always plotting our next international adventure.