I am currently a barrister at 20 Essex Street Chambers. Prior to joining 20 Essex Street, I taught law at University College London. I have also worked in the London office of Kobre & Kim.
What do you do?
Much of the work I do in this area is aimed at recovering assets, whether that be money or data itself. To that end, I am regularly instructed to seek urgent interim relief, such as disclosure orders to reveal the identities of cyber fraudsters, password orders to regain access to electronic assets and freezing injunctions to prevent cyber fraudsters from wrongfully dissipating their own assets to frustrate enforcement.
What drew you to your area of practice?
I enjoy the challenge of keeping pace with cyber fraudsters, who are constantly finding new ways to misappropriate and misuse data. As lawyers in this field, it is our job to match their creativity. As a result, not only does a practitioner need to stay on top of a variety of different areas of law, but also a whole variety of exciting new technologies. For example, I have recently delivered a series of talks with Lawrence Akka QC on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Though I must admit that I am better at advising on the legal issues arising out of cryptocurrencies than I am investing in them!
I am currently instructed by a major financial institution to assist in unravelling a fraud, pursuant to which over US$1 billion of its customers’ money was misappropriated and transferred to bank accounts all over the world. The fraudsters were able to hack into the company’s IT system and effect a series of fraudulent transfers before falsifying the company’s records. Recovering the misappropriated funds is highly rewarding work.
Advice for young lawyers?
Get to grips with the relevant underlying technology and the data vocabulary – your clients will appreciate it if you can speak their language. Make sure you know your Merkle tree from your Byzantine Generals’ Problem and your data controllers from your data processors.
If you hadn’t been a lawyer...
I like to think I would have been a spy.
What do you do to relax?
Run, read and travel.