Richard Jeens
United Kingdom
  • PositionPartner
  • FirmSlaughter and May
  • Age37
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Richard Jeens

Richard Jeens

United Kingdom
  • Position: Partner
  • Firm: Slaughter and May
  • Age: 37

Professional history

I’m a Slaughter and May lifer. I joined in 2005 and have been there ever since.

What do you do?

I am too frequently introduced as the man you don’t want to meet, which I take as shorthand for the fact my practice largely involves advising whenever data law becomes contentious.

Career highlights?

While advising a major global insurer on a data breach, persuading an (appropriately) cautious Chancery judge to grant urgent orders against the suspected data thief and their (as yet unknown and unnamed) accomplices, and to keep the whole proceedings and party names confidential. Then serving the orders via a dark web messenger service. Since the breach had yet to be announced and we needed to be able to pursue proceedings in over 60 jurisdictions, the scope, confidentiality and service of the orders were critical. Less dramatically (and with materially more sleep), helping a client handle a politically charged investigation, both in terms of their substantive, technical responses but also their broader reputational and communications strategy.

Influences and mentors?

Family aside, the late Frances Murphy, corporate partner at Slaughter and May, because she gave me a job and always supported me, even when I told her I didn’t want to be a corporate lawyer. Sara Luder, for her insight and empathy at some of my most difficult moments personally and professionally. And Sarah Lee, for her continuing advice and example in the disputes team at Slaughter and May; it’s humbling being in partnership with someone whose court victories were case studies at law school.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer...

Professional marksman. I won the individual event at the world long-range target rifle championship in Australia in 2011 but it’s a strictly amateur sport, so work and family has somewhat taken precedence since.

What’s everyone talking about?

Right now, it’s the GDPR and, sadly, Brexit. But more interesting in the contentious space is how questions such as the enforceability or jurisdiction of smart contracts will be determined. Data (and the proper use of data) is key to so many businesses; it’s exciting to see how potential legal challenges are being overcome across the firm to facilitate the possibilities that are opening.

What do you do to relax?

Relax might not be the word, but spending time with my young family is what I aim to do outside work.