I’m a partner at PwC Legal LLP in London, where I lead the cyber security and data protection practice, which is closely aligned to PwC LLP’s wider offerings in this space and those of the PwC network internationally. I’m also a director of The Cyber Security Challenge UK. I am proud to say that both PwC and The Challenge play key roles within the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy. I am also the President of the National Association of Data Protection Officers, the oldest affinity group in the UK for DP professionals. I’ve written a series of leading text books on information law and the legal directories rate me as one of the UK’s leading data protection lawyers. If you need any help with cyber security, privacy or data protection law matters, please get in contact, as I will be able to help.
Choosing a lawyer and other professional services providers
The legal environment for cyber and data security, privacy and data protection is incredibly complex. The law is developing fast, through legislation, regulatory actions and litigation. Government, public and regulatory policy is developing fast too. Change is happening all over the world.
In an environment like this, it is hard to keep up to date. No wonder that businesses are finding it hard to develop strategy and plans for risk reduction and legal compliance. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start, but start you must, because what is absolutely clear is that the topics of security, privacy and data protection have crossed the Rubicon, from specialist interest into the mass consciousness. Just think about some of the biggest news stories of recent years – Snowden, Phone Hacking, WikiLeaks, for example – and it becomes instantly clear that businesses need to adjust to the new reality. The new reality, of course, is that getting it wrong on security, privacy and data protection has brand damaging consequences. Customers see these issues as trust issues. Trust and brand value go hand-in-hand.
In an uncertain world, the choices you make about your lawyers and other professional services providers are critical.
Making the right choice
When you are making your choices about your professional services providers, there are some tests that you can apply to sort the wheat from the chaff. You can ask them about the projects they have led, the references they can provide, the size of their team, whether people have been rushing to leave them, or are rushing to join them. You can examine the size of their footprint and their ability to scale. You can ask about their ability to access complimentary service providers and what they would do in an emergency, if a serious data handling problem arose. You can ask them whether they have the clout to open doors and to influence outcomes, on a global stage if necessary.
If you consider me, PwC Legal and PwC, you can be confident that we know about the law and policy; about how to strategise and plan; about how to identify risk, measure risk and reduce risk; about how to prioritise and to get the best return on investment; about how to insulate your business from the worst extremes of the law; and about how to protect your brand and reputation. Please make contact.