Anne-Marie Allgrove
  • Partner
  • Baker McKenzie
Australia
Anne-Marie Allgrove

Anne-Marie Allgrove

  • Partner
  • Baker McKenzie
Australia

In terms of highlights, I have been fortunate to have a very varied, challenging and rewarding career. I have spent time in our Paris, Singapore and London offices as well as our Sydney office. I am part of the leadership teams supporting several of our key clients globally and have had leadership roles such as global chair of our TMT industry and practice groups, and am now global chair of our IP tech and data practice group.

Between 2016 and 2018, I was asked to be part of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on The Future of Human Rights, which explored the evolution of human rights – especially privacy and free expression – in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, while investigating ways to integrate human rights principles in the development and adoption of new technologies. This was an amazing opportunity to engage with people from all specialisms on a topic that is of increasing importance as we see the ever-increasing digitisation of the world economy.

I am now part of the International Bar Association's Presidential Task Force on Cyber Security, which is producing a cyber governance report to help boards and companies to navigate the issues surrounding cyber security risks.

Each of these initiatives have enabled me to work closely with talented people across the globe from across different professions.

One of the key highlights has been working with our talented teams and being able to support and mentor people through their careers and help to ensure we offer our diverse population an opportunity to thrive and be their authentic selves at work.

Data differs from other practices areas in that it requires an understanding of a broad range of issues across multiple practice areas as well as an appreciation for wider geopolitical and ethical issues.

It is a rapidly evolving area affecting all organisations.

It is not limited to personal information. The laws and regulations we see emerging have a broad impact including key issues of national security, foreign investment, competition law, and taxation.

Navigating different co-existing regimes not only globally but locally can be very difficult for organisations.

Emerging trends we are looking at include developments in terms of security of national infrastructure, the development of customised data sharing regimes for example in banking, telecommunications and energy in countries such as Australia, as well as enhanced regulations of digital platforms and enhanced security concerns especially cybersecurity and the increasing threat of state attacks given the events currently unfolding globally.

We have recently hired Cy Vance Jr, former Manhattan District Attorney, to lead our cyber offering, which brings together our teams across the firm in information and incident management, incident response, investigations and litigation. We have also brought on board Elisabeth Denham, who recently finished her term as UK Information Commissioner’s Office, to enhance our public policy offering.

A key challenge for the field of data, as with a number of areas, is ensuring we develop a pipeline of talent, and that women are given an opportunity to develop, are supported, allowed a voice and are listened to.

Data and how we handle data, what we deem acceptable in terms of the regulation of data and the development of the technologies that use data, are all going to be key to shaping our societies going forward. If we do not ensure we have diversity at the table (not just gender), we risk embedding bias and discrimination and failing to maximise the power of data.

The data field has evolved significantly for women professionals over the last decade. Professionals in the space need a much broader set of skills to succeed. These include strong skills in collaboration, creativity, having emotional intelligence, as well as a strong understanding and appreciation for human rights and ethics. These are strengths women bring to the table. This has broadened the opportunities within the field for women.

A piece of advice I would give aspiring data lawyers and professionals is to always be curious. This is an area of constant evolution that requires curiosity and interest.

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