I started working as a patent attorney-at-law but soon realised that I find data-related questions more interesting. Besides my law career I teach privacy and cybersecurity at various institutes, including CPO University of Nijmegen and at data protection officer training courses organised by IIR [the Institute for International Research].
What do you do?
I handle all kind of questions and issues relating to the handling of personal data, such as how to use data as a company asset, to negotiate data-related contracts, to help determine global data strategies, or to handle cybersecurity incidents and questions by supervisory authorities.
One of my highlights is the fact that my office now has a self-sustainable privacy and cybersecurity practice with dedicated, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable lawyers. Other highlights relate to successfully representing companies in enforcement actions initiated by supervisory authorities without fines being imposed.
Influences and mentors?
Eduardo Ustaran on handling data-related questions and making sure that every working product that is delivered to a client is helpful, practical and ready for use. For privacy and cybersecurity-related questions this means that you need to have an expert understanding of the law, the regulators, the regulators’ expectations and your client. Only if all these conditions are met can you really help with practical advice that is ready for use.
Advice for young lawyers?
Go for it! Do not let anyone steal your joy or temper your ambitions or goals. It is a great field to work in, and will only get more interesting and challenging.
If you hadn’t been a lawyer...
I would have liked being a pop star. Being on stage to entertain people must be great. Too bad that my lack of talent will stop me from ever being discovered as a pop star.
What’s everyone talking about?
How to handle cybersecurity incidents, and the potential impact of the proposed e-Privacy Regulation.
What is the most significant current trend in your jurisdiction?
Everybody is talking about privacy and cybersecurity, even at birthday parties.
Balthazar’s Keuken in Amsterdam.