Data 2019: Privacy & Protection and Data Security Analysis

For the second time, we recognise leading names in the twin areas of data privacy and protection, and data security. This year, 496 prominent practitioners are highlighted. Those selected are experts either in ensuring that company and individual data remains private save to outside sources and third parties who are given express permission to view it, or assisting them with keeping personal control of their data, incorporating the development of data security systems and infrastructure.


The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has idenitified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.


Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Privacy & Protection
1. Eduardo Ustaran Hogan Lovells International, London
2. Ruth Boardman Bird & Bird, London
3. Robert Bond Bristows, London
4. Bridget Treacy Hunton Andrews Kurth, London
5. Hazel Grant Fieldfisher, London
Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Security
1. Christopher Millard Bristows, London
2. William R M Long Sidley Austin, London
3. Daniel P Cooper Covington & Burling, London
4. Ashley Winton McDermott Will & Emery UK

Leading Firms


A London-based firm with a highly skilled team of standout data practitioners. We recognise seven members of the practice this year.
Christopher Millard is a “well-known figure” and “a data protection guru” who is “definitely an expert” in the space. He impresses sources with his stellar expertise across all aspects of data privacy and security matters and is recognised as a Global Elite Thought Leader in both chapters.
Robert Bond is a long-standing expert in data issues who draws praise from peers and clients alike, who note that he has “a clear and pragmatic approach to solving complex issues”. Sources are also quick to highlight his “thorough understanding of his subject area” combined with “enough experience to be able to apply the law in a practical way”.
Toby Crick is a dedicated data and technology lawyer who expertly advises clients in a variety of jurisdictions on complex data protection and regulatory matters across sectors such as healthcare and financial services.
Mark Watts is an “excellent lawyer with enviable clients” who works on an array of cutting-edge data protection matters.

Hogan Lovells

A strong player in the field, seeing six practitioners highlighted.
Eduardo Ustaran at Hogan Lovells is the leading name in the UK in our data privacy and protection research, with interviewees hailing him as an “international star in the field”. He stands out for his “incredible data privacy knowledge”, which he uses on behalf of a roster of major public and private sector clients.
Quentin Archer impresses sources with his excellent experience and strong technical expertise that he deploys for clients on a wide range of IT and data issues.

Sidley Austin

Another strong name in the market with four of its lawyers recognised in both the privacy and protection and security areas.
William Long is a dedicated privacy and cybersecurity lawyer whose clients benefit from his vast knowledge of issues such as EU data regulations, e-commerce and social media. We identify him as a Global Elite Thought Leader for his outstanding expertise in the space.
Geraldine Scali proficiently advises clients on data protection and privacy matters and has notable experience on complex cross-border proceedings.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang

Three excellent lawyers recognised here.
Sam De Silva is a standout practitioner who draws praise for his highly technical and impressive work in cybersecurity and data protection concerns. Sources comment on his “attention to detail and prompt, pragmatic and focused expert responses”.
Susan Barty is highly regarded technology and data lawyer who impresses sources with her ability and experience in the field.
Clive Gringras is acknowledged by peers as “a star lawyer” in the field, offering clients wide-ranging experience in high-stakes data protection matters.

Covington & Burling

Two standout lawyers from the firm are recognised.
Global Elite Thought Leader Daniel Cooper offers clients significant cybersecurity expertise including deep knowledge of UK and EU regulatory regimes. He is celebrated as a leading light in regulatory matters.
Mark Young is a well-regarded practitioner who draws recommendations from around the globe. He is highly adept in cybersecurity issues, advising clients on matters such as compliance, incident response and IP protection.

Bird & Bird

Three lawyers gain four listings between them in this edition.
Ruth Boardman, head of the firm’s data privacy and protection group, is a well-known and senior expert in the area. She provides clients with deep expertise in dealing with regulators and legislative frameworks.
Graham Smith focuses his practice on internet law and related data privacy matters, with notable experience advising clients on complex compliance issues and the implications of domestic and international regulatory regimes.
James Mullock is a highly experienced and skilful data privacy and cybersecurity practitioner who advises on issues such as GDPR compliance schemes, national data protection policy and the analysis and response to data breaches.


Has a significant presence in the field, with six lawyers recognised.
Hazel Grant leads the practice’s privacy, security and information team. She wins plaudits for her “very strong expertise” on matters that range from data compliance to data breaches across sectors such as healthcare and finance, and is widely recognised as a top-tier figure in the market.
Paul Barton is a dedicated data and technology lawyer with over two decades of experience in the field. He focuses on complex data project management and analysis, offering clients deep expertise in the area.
Nuria Pastor is frequently recommended by respondents for her expertise in data protection and international data privacy issues, advising clients with regard to data transfers, whistleblowing and data protection schemes.

Other Leading Individuals

Bridget Treacy at Hunton Andrews Kurth is acknowledged by peers as a “well-known data protection expert” who stands out as one of the leading names in the UK market. She has extensive experience in data governance, protection and analysis across various sectors.

Arnold & Porter’s Robert Bratby is a regulatory expert who is highlighted as an “excellent lawyer” in the field, with notable experience advising on an array of data security and privacy issues.

At Dentons, Nick Graham is highlighted by peers as being “widely respected in this field and visible internationally”. Impressed sources add, “He definitely knows about privacy issues.”

Sarah Pearce at Paul Hastings is a highly respected data privacy and security lawyer who offers clients specialist expertise in assessing security risk and managing breach response, with deep experience of managing matters on an international level.

Ashley Winton of McDermott Will & Emery is one of Europe's best-known cyber security experts and regularly advises major clients across financial services, retail and payments on data breaches and other incidents.


Europe (excluding UK)

Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Privacy & Protection
1. Steven De Schrijver Astrea, Brussels
2. Jürg Schneider Walder Wyss, Lausanne
3. Eija Warma-Lehtinen Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd, Helsinki
4. Clara-Ann Gordon Niederer Kraft Frey, Zurich
5. Laura Liguori Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale, Rome
6. Philip Nolan Mason Hayes & Curran, Dublin
7. Niko Härting Härting Rechtsanwälte, Berlin
8. Christian Frank Taylor Wessing PartG mbB, Munich
Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Security
1. Steven De Schrijver Astrea, Brussels
2. Jürg Schneider Walder Wyss, Lausanne
3. Ursula Widmer Dr. Widmer & Partners, Attorneys-At-Law, Berne
4. Roland Mathys Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd, Zurich
5. Laura Liguori Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale, Rome
6. Carmen De la Cruz de la cruz beranek Rechtsanwälte, Zug
7. Nicole Beranek Zanon de la cruz beranek Rechtsanwälte, Zug

Leading Firms

Walder Wyss 

A dominant force in the Swiss market, as six of its lawyers achieve nine listings in our research.
Jürg Schneider is highlighted by sources as an "excellent and experienced lawyer" who stands out for his leading work on data protection and information security matters. Peers state that he is "very knowledgeable and always a pleasure to work with".
Michael Isler wins high praise from sources who consider him a "top choice in Switzerland" for data protection and privacy matters. He is also well respected for his work across the data security space.
Mark Reutter is internationally recognised as a top name in the data privacy space, an area in which he is well versed in advising technology-sector clients. He has notable experience working in sensitive sectors such as healthcare.
David Vasella is "one of the leading practitioners in data protection" according to peers, who note that he is "outstanding in all aspects".
Hans Rudolf Trüeb wins widespread praise from peers who commend his deep knowledge of complex data security and data management matters.
Didier Sangiorgio draws high praise for his data security practice from sources, who consider him a go-to name in the Swiss market.

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte

The firm has six lawyers recognised and receives a total of nine listings.
Stefan Schicker is a well-regarded practitioner who offers clients in-depth compliance and data protection advice, drawing on years of experience and technical knowledge.
Andreas Peschel-Mehner is a long-time technology lawyer who greatly emphasises digital technologies in his practice, demonstrating extensive knowledge of data protection and compliance matters.


Four practitioners receive a combined eight listings here.
Peter Bräutigam is a “top name” in the market recognised as one of the leaders in Germany for his work in data protection and cybersecurity issues. He confidently advises clients on matters pertaining to compliance schemes, regulatory issues and breach response.
Thomas Thalhofer is a high-quality lawyer works on complex and highly technical data projects, involving cutting edge technological processes. He provides clients with in-depth advice regarding the protection and safeguarding of their systems.
Daniel Rücker is a committed and well-known data protection and IT practitioner who deploys decades of expertise on matters such as international data transfers and regulatory compliance.
Joachim Schrey receives praise from sources for his highly technical and sophisticated work in complex data projects.

Kennedy Van der Laan

This Dutch firm has an impressive showing, with five lawyers gaining listings overall.
Hester de Vries comes “highly recommended” by peers as “one of the experts for data protection” in the market. Sources note her “impressive client list”, which includes both private and public sector entities in the Netherlands and internationally.
Patrick Wit is a well-known technology lawyer with significant experience advising on regulatory regimes in the technology and media sectors.

SSW Schneider Schiffer Weihermüller

The firm achieves seven listings gained by four practitioners.
Jochen Schneider is a seasoned and highly experienced practitioner, having spent over 30 years advising clients in the area. He is described as an “excellent lawyer” by peers for his extensive expertise in data protection.
Isabell Conrad is a “top recommendation for data protection law”, say commentators, who commend her for her “very active practice” in complex data protection schemes and regulatory frameworks for clients in a variety of jurisdictions.
Frieder Backu is recommended for his strong technology-related expertise.

Advokatfirman Delphi

Three lawyers gain recognition across both chapters in this edition.
Peter Nordbeck is lauded by sources as “one of the best” and a “leading expert” in the market. He is particularly well regarded for his “very deep knowledge of the privacy regulations in Sweden”.
“Expert practitioner” Agne Lindberg draws praise for the quality of his advice as well as his “long experience” on high-stakes data privacy matters in the IT sector.
Henrik Bengtsson focuses his practice on data issues, including data privacy concerns and the protection of intellectual property. He is “strong in privacy litigation” and also provides advice on a range of non-contentious matters.

Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale

An impressive Italian firm with three lawyers listed.
Laura Liguori is a well-known and well-regarded practitioner who impresses peers with her outstanding work in data protection and privacy law. Sources describe her as “truly excellent” and highlight her “professionality, customer-orientation, creativity and problem-solving speed”.
Ernesto Apa is a “famous name” in the market who receives praise from peers and clients alike for his “fair approach and independent judgement” in technology and media-related issues.
Oreste Pollicino is a dedicated technology law practitioner who is highly knowledgeable in a wide range of matters in the area.

Schellenberg Wittmer

Three excellent lawyers achieve five listings.
Roland Mathys is "a very diligent lawyer" who comes highly recommended for his leading expertise in compliance and data security law. He draws widespread praise from peers who commend his impressive knowledge of both domestic and EU data protection regulation and compliance matters.
Gabor Sebestyen impresses clients as a “focused practitioner” with extensive skill and experience in the data space. Interviewees comment that Sebestyen provides “detailed and reliable information alongside an excellent knowledge of data protection law”.
Samuel Klaus is "a hardworking lawyer" who impresses peers with his "broad and sound knowledge and experience" in data protection law, as well as his "strong communication skills".

Vieira de Almeida

This strong Portuguese firm earns five recognitions from four lawyers.
Magda Cocco is the head of the firm’s ICT practice and draws widespread recommendations from peers in Portugal. She has had long-standing involvement in policy and regulation in the data field, gaining extensive knowledge of cybersecurity and data protection concerns.
Margarida Couto focuses her top-flight practice on offering clients compliance and data privacy advice, drawing on 30 years of experience handling regulatory issues.

Other Leading Individuals


The “skilful and well-known” Axel Anderl of Dorda Rechtsanwälte is the pre-eminent data lawyer in Austria, according to this year’s respondents. He is highly specialised in data protection matters, and provides “straight-to-the-point, down-to-earth” advice as well as “extremely good knowledge of international benchmarks and best practice”.


Steven De Schrijver at Astrea leads our research this year in Europe and is "an expert in the field" of data security, demonstrating deep knowledge and experience in the market. He is commended by peers for his "great understanding of his client's business, which proves indispensable in the area of personal data".


Plesner’s Michael Hopp leads the firm’s data protection group and is “certainly a top name” in the field, according to commentators. He draws praise for his enviable experience in relevant legislation, compliance schemes, cross-border transfers and data protection concerns on a multi-jurisdictional basis.


At Castrén & Snellman, Eija Warma-Lehtinen is hailed by sources as a “leader in the field” who is “highly regarded in privacy matters”. She has “long-term market standing” for her work in issues such as breaches, data transfers and auditing.


Claire Bernier of ADSTO “does a lot of litigation and data protection work” and is extremely experienced in contentious and non-contentious proceedings within the. She expertly advises and represents clients in matters relating to cybersecurity, data and identity theft, and invasion of privacy.


Niko Härting at Härting Rechtsanwälte has extensive experience and ability in data protection matters, prompting interviewees to describe him as a “tremendous lawyer” in the area.

Christian Frank of Taylor Wessing is widely regarded as one of the leading names in the European market for data privacy matters. One prominent peer comments, "Christian is sensible, commercial and great to work with."


Philip Nolan of Mason Hayes & Curran is held in esteemed by sources who affirm that he is “very strong in the data space” and an “excellent practitioner”. He focuses his practice on providing high-level advice in issues relating to compliance and data breaches on an international level.


Domenico Colella at Orsingher Ortu Avvocati Associati is a well-regarded practitioner who is described by a source as “in my opinion, the best IT lawyer in Italy”. He is “a great professional in the context of M&A transactions involving data security issues”, comment interviewees.


Van Doorne’s Elisabeth Thole is a “well-known name” in the field who is “clearly recommended” by peers for her prowess in privacy matters. She advises clients on issues arising out of GDPR concerns, compliance processes, data breaches and international data transfers.


Mónica Oliveira Costa from Coelho Ribeiro e Associados is lauded by interviewees as an “outstanding figure” in the market, with a dedicated and knowledgeable approach to data protection issues.


Fredrik Roos at Setterwalls impresses peers and clients alike with his “ability to quickly get up to speed in new topics and provide clear guidance with a strong business understanding” in relation to data matters. Sources are also quick to highlight that Roos is “professional, business-oriented and service-minded”.


Clara-Ann Gordon of Niederer Kraft Frey is a standout practitioner, praised by sources as an “excellent lawyer” who centres her work around all facets of data law. She distinguishes herself as an expert in an array of privacy and protection matters including GDPR issues, internal data management procedures and compliance.

Ursula Widmer, founder of Dr Widmer & Partners, has decades of experience in the field and a long-standing dedication to handling complex data and technology matters.  

Carmen De la Cruz at de la cruz beranek is a well-respected lawyer who is highlighted by peers for her "great experience in data protection and privacy matters". She is also recognised by peers for her strong regulatory knowledge on cybersecurity issues.
Nicole Beranek Zanon is a top name in the Swiss market with "great knowledge" of the area and outstanding experience across a broad range of data-related issues.


North America

Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Privacy & Protection
1. Francoise Gilbert Greenberg Traurig, Silicon Valley
2. Dov H Scherzer Polsinelli PC, New York
3. John P Beardwood Fasken, Ontario
4. Edward R McNicholas Sidley Austin, Washington DC
5. William A Tanenbaum Arent Fox, New York
Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Security
1. Dov H Scherzer Polsinelli PC, New York
2. Charles S Morgan McCarthy Tétrault, Montreal
3. Edward R McNicholas Sidley Austin, Washington DC
4. Francoise Gilbert Greenberg Traurig, Silicon Valley

Leading Firms

Greenberg Traurig 

Continues to be a standout firm in the area, with three lawyers achieving recognition in both chapters.
Francoise Gilbert is a leading light in the field of data protection and privacy and the top name in the US market in this year’s research. She advises clients on complex issues such as cybersecurity, the effects of regulation and the legal and commercial implications of cutting-edge technologies.
Ian Ballon has extensive experience in contentious proceedings, drawing on deep technical knowledge to expertly represent clients in disputes relating to data breaches, trade secrets and data privacy.
Alan Sutin in the firm’s New York office brings a highly experienced perspective to proceedings in privacy and data security, impressing sources with his deep and nuanced knowledge of data protection schemes.

McCarthy Tétrault

A top-class Canadian firm that is a strong player in the data market. Three of its practitioners achieve five listings.
Charles Morgan is recognised by peers for his committed and top-tier work in cybersecurity and data protection mandates, as he advises clients on high-stakes proceedings in a range of jurisdictions and industries. Sources identify him as a “great negotiator who knows everything about the market”.
Barry Sookman is a committed and highly knowledgeable data lawyer who advises on a variety of issues in the field, including compliance concerns and the management of international data transfer, as well as anti-spam matters.
George Takach has vast experience in technology law and is highlighted by sources for his ability in sophisticated matters relating to online commerce and privacy concerns.

Sidley Austin

Two outstanding lawyers receive four listings here.
Global Elite Thought Leader Edward McNicholas is a sought-after and talented practitioner in the space. He distinguishes himself as a knowledgeable force in cybersecurity matters, adeptly handling both contentious and non-contentious proceedings.
Alan Charles Raul heads the firm’s privacy and cybersecurity practice and demonstrates deep knowledge in the area. He is recommended by sources for his expertise in a wide variety of areas ranging from data breaches to DOJ enforcement actions. 

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt

Three excellent lawyers from the firm are recognised.
Adam Kardash is a “very talented and knowledgeable lawyer” with a “strong reputation” who is “excellent in privacy matters”, report interviewees. He is well regarded for his expertise in areas such as compliance, data transfers and personal data management, offering “timely, to-the-point advice”.
Michael Fekete is widely recognised by sources for his excellent work in online commerce and privacy issues. He has 25 years’ experience working in technology law.
John Salloum possesses deep technical expertise in data privacy matters, with a focus on social media, regulatory compliance and personal data management.

Other Leading Individuals


John Beardwood at Fasken is a top-tier technology lawyer who impresses sources with his work on privacy matters. He stands out as one of Canada’s top names in the field this year.

David Fraser of McInnes Cooper is an esteemed lawyer who advises a wide variety of clients on regulatory and compliance matters, deploying a deep knowledge of legislative frameworks and complex data transfer issues.

At Hayes eLaw, founder Mark Hayes has decades of experience in complex privacy matters that involve the management of personal data, regulatory compliance and access to information.

Lisa Lifshitz at Torkin Manes is a long-standing expert in data law with extensive experience in data privacy matters across a wide range of sectors. Peers particularly highlight her work in the healthcare industry, describing her as “excellent with health information privacy work”.

Amy-Lynne Williams of Deeth Williams Wall is a dedicated technology lawyer with over three decades of experience in the area, impressing sources with her work in privacy matters, acting for both public and private sector clients.

Sunny Handa at Blake Cassels & Graydon is “head and shoulders above his peers” in technology-related matters, say commentators. He expertly advises clients on regulatory and compliance procedures, with notable experience in the defence sector, and is well known for his representation of Indian clients.


At Polsinelli, Dov Scherzer is a standout individual in the area who is hailed by peers for his knowledge of complex privacy matters, particularly in a transactional context.

William Tanenbaum is a well-known and highly respected practitioner whose vast experience in technology makes him a go-to expert in all manner of issues relating to the management and protection of data across a variety of sectors.

Miriam Wugmeister of Morrison & Foerster is a leading figure in the field with enviable experience in the data privacy and security areas. She advises international companies on their most complex data protection concerns.

Kai Westerwelle at Bird & Bird is widely recognised internationally for his strong technical knowledge on cross-border data privacy and protection matters.

Randy Sabett of Cooley provides clients with high-level advice in matters relating to cybersecurity and privacy issues, aided by strong in-house experience and broad industry expertise.

Thomas Smedinghoff at Locke Lord focuses his outstanding practice on issues of data security and privacy in both commercial and public sector contexts. He brings over 40 years of experience to his representation of clients.



Thought Leaders
Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Privacy & Protection
1. Philip Catania Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Melbourne
2. Gabriela Kennedy Mayer Brown, Hong Kong
3. Bryan Tan Pinsent Masons MPillay, Singapore
4. Probir Roy Chowdhury J Sagar Associates, Bangalore
Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Security
1. Probir Roy Chowdhury J Sagar Associates, Bangalore


Philip Catania at Corrs Chambers Westgarth is described as “pre-eminent in this space”, impressing sources with his superb knowledge of data matters, which he deploys for a number of major clients in Australia and beyond.  

Peter Leonard of Gilbert + Tobin is a dedicated specialist in the data field with decades of experience in the TMT sector. He wins widespread plaudits from peers for the depth of his expertise in the space.

Hong Kong

Gabriela Kennedy at Mayer Brown focuses her top-flight practice on complex data privacy matters such as the management and avoidance of data breaches, cross-border data transfer and compliance regimes for companies.


At J Sagar Associates, Sajai Singh is commended by peers as an “impressive lawyer” in the space for his outstanding transactional work in the technology sector as well as his deep understanding of the domestic market.

Probir Roy Chowdhury is an excellent lawyer with notable experience in a wide range of technology and data protection matters. He regularly advises clients on regulatory matters and the data protection and security challenges of technology transfers.

Pavan Duggal of Pavan Duggal Associates is highlighted by sources as “excellent on the contentious side” as he demonstrates a standout approach to dispute resolution in complex cybersecurity proceedings.


Pinsent Masons MPillay’s Bryan Tan is described by sources as a “notable individual in the market”, thanks to his impressive knowledge and wide-ranging experience in data-related matters.


Latin America

Global Elite Thought Leaders – Data Privacy & Protection
1. Diego Fernández Marval O'Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires
2. Renato Opice Blum Opice Blum, Bruno, Abrusio e Vainzof Advogados Associados, São Paulo


At Marval O'Farrell & Mairal, Diego Fernández has focused his standout practice on data and IT issues since the start of his career, now demonstrating an impressive knowledge of privacy and protection issues. We identify Fernández as a Global Elite Thought Leader for the second year in succession.


Opice Blum, Bruno, Abrusio e Vainzof Advogados is home to Renato Opice Blum, a top-quality practitioner who expertly advises clients on privacy regulations in Brazil and internationally.
Juliana Abrusio impresses peers and clients alike with her “deep technical knowledge and excellent customer service” in data-related issues that allows her to offer “lots of solutions and out of the box thinking”.

Fábio Luiz Barboza Pereira from Veirano Advogados has extensive experience in the space with strong expertise in matters relating to the protection of personal and commercial data.

Dirceu Pereira De Santa Rosa at Montaury Pimenta, Machado & Vieira de Mello is highly experienced and skilled in matters relating to the protection of IP rights, compliance regimes and data management.


Victor Andrade at FerradaNehme is praised by sources for his deep understanding of data privacy regimes on a domestic and international level. Interviewees comment: “He has a profound knowledge of local data privacy and protection regulations and awareness of international regulations and jurisprudence.”

Carey’s Paulina Silva is a dedicated data lawyer with an in-depth understanding of the complexities of personal data management and protection. She is also noted for her outstanding work in cybersecurity-related issues.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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