Introduction

Welcome to the 2021 edition of the Global Data Review 40 under 40, in which we profile the 40 individuals who represent the best and the brightest of the data law bar around the world.

This is the second edition of the GDR 40 under 40. Its format is very similar to the first edition, which we published in our launch magazine in autumn 2018.

As in 2018, we contacted as many people as we could and asked them to put some names forward. When it came to picking our nominees, the process was fairly flexible; we’d look at track record, market reputation, and what made them stand out, while also trying to make the list as global as possible.

But there are a few differences.

We asked our participants different questions, with less of a focus on their careers, and more on the key issues they face – and, to reflect that data law is more than a collection of individuals, about the people who helped them get to where they are today. We asked them not only about data risk, but also data opportunity. And of course, we asked them how covid-19 has changed what they do, in a bid to keep elephants out of the room.

The type of person we included in the survey is also slightly different. We included a handful of highly-rated non-lawyer data experts, as that’s an important part of the market. (There probably aren’t enough, and hopefully there will be more next time.) There are also some in-house counsel – people who really stood out.

We also decided fairly late on in the process to exclude English barristers from the running. That is no reflection of their talent: the names passed our way have eye-watering CVs. But they pose a dilemma: we could easily have put four or five people on the list. That feels like too many – so maybe just one or two? That feels like not enough. We felt that it’s better to look at that fairly unique market by itself. Watch this space.

Cliché as it may sound, picking the final list was extremely hard. We received a far higher number of nominees in 2021 than we did in 2018. That in itself is a good thing, but it made the job of whittling down a shortlist much harder. A lot of very good people did not make it in.

We’re proud to present the final profiles.

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