Hogan Lovells Hires London Privacy Partner in Response to GDPR

The rise of the General Data Protection Regulation spurred Hogan Lovells International LLP to hire a partner to serve in the firm’s privacy and cybersecurity practice in London.

Nicola Fulford, who currently serves as head of data protection and privacy at Kemp Little, will join Hogan Lovells in September. The firm pointed to the new European privacy law—the GDPR—as the catalyst for the hire, and said it’s bringing on six more attorneys in London this year.

Fulford is a “strategic hire” for Hogan Lovells, according to Eduardo Ustaran, co-director of the global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice in the firm’s London office.

“Between now and the end of the year, we plan to have seven new attorneys on our London team, so it’s part of quite a big move to maybe change the face of the practice given everything that’s happening,” Ustaran told Bloomberg Law in a July 5 call. “She’s the first of seven, and the most senior.”

Ustaran, who actually had a hand in developing the GDPR, says he was a strategic hire for Hogan Lovells four years ago. He was tasked with developing the European team of the firm’s global privacy and cybersecurity practice.

“In the U.S., they had already been operating as a standalone practice. In Europe, less so,” Ustaran told Bloomberg Law in the interview. “At the end of last summer, we made the decision to expand quite actively.”

Ustaran added that the GDPR, which was passed two years ago and took effect more recently, is “an element” of why the practice is busy.

“In reality, it’s just another ingredient in the way in which this area of law has been developing,” he told Bloomberg Law. “The coming into effect of the GDPR has changed things because many people look at that as a deadline for compliance, when in reality it’s the beginning of a new framework which is going to be in place for a number of years.”

That new framework, Ustaran noted, will likely require new attorneys with expertise in the area.

Fulford herself said there has been an “extraordinary uptick in data protection in privacy work” that corresponds with the passage and implementation of the GDPR. She said the bump has been seen for two years, but more “intensively” in the last six to 12 months.

“It’s a really exciting area of law to work in at the moment,” Fulford told Bloomberg Law in a July 5 phone interview. “People are starting to take stock. They have a much better understanding of the data that they have.”

She added that, up until May 25 when the GDPR became effective, the work included readiness assessment and “putting in place the building blocks for businesses and other organizations to be able to comply.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcAfee@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com