GDR 100 2021

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills

Professional notice

Practice profile

Herbert Smith Freehills has rapidly expanded its data practice of late, pursuing a two-pronged tactic of senior hires and the utilisation of specialists from other practice areas. In recognition of the interconnected nature of many data issues – and their prevalence among many different aspects of many different types of business – the firm’s data group spans practices and borders.

The rapid growth in the firm’s data offering came in response to three factors: increased regulation; a rise in cybersecurity risk; and the ever-increasing commercial focus for its clients on data as a key strategic asset. The genesis of the practice now informs its strategy for the future: it looks to predict the big issues before they arise, to tackle international matters and to have a team of lawyers that are technically adept as well as well-informed on legal issues.

The practice has a wide geographic footprint, with multiple partners in Europe, Asia (especially Singapore and Indonesia), Russia, the US and Australia. Key clients include British American Tobacco, multiple banks, Gazprom, Samsung, Grab and KPMG.

Leading individuals

London partner Miriam Everett heads up the firm’s data protection and privacy team. She assists clients with the full gamut of data protection and privacy issues, through from the design and implementation of policies to disaster recovery and data breaches. Her considerable experience is complemented by Andrew Moir, also London-based, head of the firm’s cyber and data security group, which focuses on cyber-resilience, incident response, and cybersecurity issues related to transactions.

Work highlights

The firm boasts a lengthy list of clients to which it provides a range of data advice. The client list has a distinctly international leaning: the firm working for companies as diverse as Ant Financial – the fintech subsidiary of Chinese giant Alibaba – Russian energy giant Gazprom and media and advertising operation Dentsu Aegis Network.

Closer to home, Herbert Smith advised FTSE 250-listed recruitment company Hays on the data elements of innovative projects including an app-based recruitment platform. Miriam Everett led that work alongside London-based Tim Leaver. Everett also advised Clearbank, a new clearing bank, on complex data protection arrangements arising out of its partnership with digital challenger bank Tide. In other transactions-related data advice, the firm advised the Lufthansa Group on its sale of one division of its business to Swiss airline caterer Gategroup.

Client feedback

A data privacy manager at a multinational energy company praises Herbert Smith’s advice, noting that its expertise across both data protection and employment issues has come in particularly handy. Tim Leaver and Andrew Moir both come in for direct praise, with Moir’s “great technical expertise in the cyber domain” cited as a strength.

We recognise that data is a topic that transcends traditional law firm practice area divisions. In response, we have developed, and continue to develop, a virtual, cross-practice and cross-border global data group to advise clients on all aspects of data issues across a broad range of practice areas, including privacy, cyber security, technology, employment, M&A, competition, intellectual property, public law and litigation (including cyber and data class actions). This allows us to readily bring the right team to the matter, combining skills in privacy regulatory, industry regulatory, contractual data arrangements, policy, disputes and cyber and data incident response.

Our Global Data Group lawyers are:

  • Ahead of the game - data has evolved to become the lifeblood of global trade. By spotting the latest trends in the market early we are able to provide our clients with timely commercial and business critical information. We regularly advise company boards and senior management on strategic, board level issues which are central to many organisations’ business strategy.
  • Globally connected and collaborative – data is not only a regulatory compliance concern. It has evolved into a global commercial issue, affecting every commercial organisation and touching on all aspects of modern life and global trade. Our virtual ‘super’ practice allows us to adapt and evolve with the issues and without being constrained by practice areas.
  • Technically literate – many members of our team have science and technology backgrounds. Particularly in cyber security and incident response, technical issues pervade the legal and strategic advice we provide, as well as the disputes that commonly follow cyber or data incidents. Our team can “speak the language” of the technical teams within our clients, regulators and litigation experts.
  • Thought leaders – we provide our clients with the latest information, development and trends in the data world. This includes regular updates on our global Data Blog, global Cyber and Data Security Blog, the Data Economy hub as well as regular client e-bulletins and bespoke reports such as our Global Bank Review: The Data Game. We cover a wide range of subjects: from the relationship between cities and data, to Covid-19 temperature testing issues. We also help to shape the law, with many of our lawyers active on industry body committees such as the City of London Law Society Data Committee, or working with organisations such as the National Cyber Security Centre in the UK.

Operating from 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. The firm provides many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including Banks, Consumer products, Energy, Financial buyers, Infrastructure & Transport, Mining, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Real estate, TMT and Manufacturing & Industrials.


Miriam Everett, Global Head of Data Protection & Privacy
E: [email protected]
T: +44 20 7466 2378
Andrew Moir, Global Head of Cyber and Data Security
E: [email protected]
T: +44 20 7466 2773

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