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Technology and Data

Fieldfisher's Technology and Data Group is one of the largest and most experienced in Europe. This breadth and depth of expertise means clients regularly instruct us on complex, international mandates with complete confidence.

Privacy & data protection

Our clients face significant challenges as they navigate advances in technology, growing digitisation and a complex and costly regulatory landscape. However, the fuel of the world’s technological revolution is not just technology itself: it is data.  To maintain trust, individuals, our businesses and government institutions must ensure that their data uses are fair, lawful, proportionate and accountable – or face the consequences.

What does that mean for your clients?

Our team aligns itself across three broad privacy pillars:

  1. Operational Compliance:  We advise our clients on policies, procedures and practices to ensure their operational processes are compliant with data protection requirements. We can also advise on the wide range of practical and strategic implications presented by operational compliance issues. 
  2. Commercial and Product:  We work with some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in the world on commercial and product-related data protection work. This means we can guide clients to achieve their commercial and product-oriented goals in a way that provides effective protection for individuals’ data.
  3. Cyber and crisis-management:  Recent legislation has introduced new requirements for reporting cybersecurity incidents to both regulators and to affected individuals.  At the same time, it has removed barriers for individuals making requests to access significant volumes of data.  We can help our clients prepare for these risks and mitigate for them as and when they arise.

Fieldfisher is home to one of the world’s finest - and largest - Privacy, Security and Information practices. Our international team throughout offices in the EU, US and China comprises more than 60 individuals who dedicate 100% of their practice to data protection, meaning they have a level of legal, regulatory and commercial privacy expertise seldom found elsewhere.  Through our experience of working with all types of organisation, across all sectors and markets, we can advise not just on what the law requires, but what is common in the market and how similar organisations respond to the issues at hand. 

Our Brussels-based Partners Olivier Proust and Tim Van Canneyt are both ranked as first-tier 'Next Generation Partners' by Legal 500.

Technology & Outsourcing, E-commerce

The tech sector is dynamic and multi-faceted.  To a degree, almost every business has some reliance on technology or technologies that define it. 

Our widely-recognised and respected tech team has been providing clients with unrivalled counsel for over two decades. The team's position at the top of the market, and the high-profile mandates we have learned from, means clients can engage us for a truly risk-free solution.

Working on some of the most significant and high-profile tech projects for entities ranging from government departments to the fastest growing and most exciting businesses around the world, we combine the right insights and expertise for a particular project. 

We recognise that clients want fast access to efficiently combined expertise. Our integrated approach means that we work as one team with colleagues across practices in employment, corporate, real estate, regulatory, competition, data protection and dispute resolution spanning our European network.

We have also established Ecomlex (an association of leading technology and e-commerce lawyers) specifically to meet the needs of businesses throughout Europe. Via Ecomlex, we advise multinational organisations and governments on all elements of pan-European tech-related law, providing one invoice for our work across all territories. This unique international approach sets us apart from the crowd.

Whether a client is executing a roll-up strategy on the acquisition trail, requires support with traditional procurement and sales cycles, is working to manage IT infrastructure efficiently and cost-effectively or defending core IP rights that underpin their business, our experts are in tune with the rapid changes in technology which impact businesses and their customers.

Our specialists combine and deploy the right expertise for any given situation – we’re here to help.

Recent deals and highlights include:

Privacy, Security and Information

  • We successfully counselled multiple organisations through the process of multiple binding corporate rules applications (both pre and post-GDPR), and across multiple different Member States as lead authority. 
  • The group advised clients on post-GDPR regulatory investigations across a number of European Member States.
  • We have managed large volume subject access requests (SARs or DSARs) for clients in the public and private sectors. 
  • We have provided commercial contracting support to a wide range of leading, household brand clients in the run-up to GDPR, ensuring that their customer and vendor contracting templates were GDPR compliant, and helped to push those contracts out and negotiate them through to completion successfully.  This work was completed both within our team and also using our CONDOR solution for high volumes.
  • The team managed a large cybersecurity incident for a multinational business, which resulted in extensive review of potentially compromised data. We supported the client through its communications to the regulatory, staff and affected data subjects.
  • We advised on privacy issues in the Internet of Things (IoT) for multiple clients including connected toys, vehicles and homes.
  • We provided data protection officer services for clients in the tech, pharma, retail and leisure industries.
  • The group advised a media business on the compliant collection and monetisation of viewing information.
  • We advised various ad tech businesses on their compliance with e-privacy and GDPR consent requirements, and in connection with regulatory enquiries into online advertising practices.

Technology & Outsourcing, E-commerce

  • We have reviewed IT contracts under Belgian and French law for multiple companies.
  • The group has conducted legal audits of IT web platforms, including reviewing a website's terms and conditions, verifying the use of cookies and other online tracking technology and drafting other online policies.
  • We assisted a large outsourcing and consultancy group on a daily basis with negotiations for complex IT and BPO contracts, including assisting with the implementation of required data transfer agreements.
  • The team supported a French IT solutions provider on the acquisition of software from another company.
  • We assisted a multinational professional services company on IT, data protection and M&A questions.
  • We have advised an innovative IT start-up since its inception, amongst others, with the roll-out of a major change to its commercial model: putting in place B2B contract terms and negotiating them with our client's B2B companies where needed and working closely with them to help prepare for GDPR.
  • We advised an innovative SaaS platform with the drafting of the conditions of use, the contracts with the subcontractors and negotiations with supermarkets as well as acting as an external DPO.

What Others Say About Us

Clients describe the team as "extremely helpful," particularly praising the firm's pragmatism and ability to understand where the business is coming from."

Chambers Europe, 2020 – TMT

"My experience has been wonderful. It has very good lawyers, the best I have worked with. I think very highly of the firm", says a client. Sources highlight the firm's network, noting that their "ability to draw on specialist local resources is hugely important," and praising the fact that "clients around the world get tailor-made advice."

Chambers Europe and Chambers Global, 2020 – Data protection

Fieldfisher’s 'first rate' practice has 'deep knowledge of the GDPR and privacy developments' and 'provides top-notch services'. Recent work for the 'quick, precise and very knowledgeable' team includes data breaches, data processing and GDPR compliance.

Legal 500, 2020 – Privacy & Data protection