Episode 1: Eduardo Ustaran

Season 3

Season 3

Episode 1: Eduardo Ustaran

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Anthony Brown: [00:00:00] Hello there, I'm Anthony Brown and I'm very pleased to welcome you to a brand new series of the Privacy and Data Talks podcast, otherwise known as the podcast. Sorry, it's been a little while, but it's great to be back with a bang for series three, a series of talks that we'll be calling journeys through privacy. Each episode, I'll be talking to a leading privacy thought leader about their career journey. We'll be discussing their stellar career in detail and learning more about their experiences along the way, both good and bad. I hope these discussions and the sharing of experiences from leading lights will be useful for those already working in the privacy community and those considering it as a career, whether it be as a lawyer, non-lawyer, operational or technical role. The privacy community really is a broad church, and it now has a variety of super exciting career paths, of which I hope to explore over the coming episodes. So anyway, without further ado, today I'm really excited to be joined by somebody that I'm sure many of you will know. Eduardo Ustaran is global co-head of the Hogan Lovell's Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, and is widely recognized as one of the world's leading privacy and data protection lawyers and thought leaders. Eduardo, it's great to see you and a really warm welcome to the PAD-Cast.  How's 2023 going for you so far?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:01:48] It's going well. I think like most looking forward to to the spring now, but very, very happy so far. Thank you.

Anthony Brown: [00:01:58] Absolutely. Yeah. Well, as we record it's the 1st of March today. So it's still a bit chilly but we're making progress. So anyway, Eduardo, I've known you for a number of years now. I was really keen to have you on the show, as you've had a really outstanding career so far. And, you know, as we've said, you're internationally recognized as a leader within the privacy space. I know that in your early career, you you chose to leave your native Spain behind and move to the UK. So I was really interested in digging a bit deeper on what happened around that time. But if you don't mind, let's just start. If you can, please take us back to your very early days. I mean, what what was Eduardo Ustaran the student like?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:02:43] Well, thank you very much. First of all, for inviting me to to chat with you today, Anthony. It's a pleasure and even even more fun to go and and try to remember what being a student was like in, in those days. I'm talking of the sort of late 80s early 90s. Being a law student, at least in Spain, involved spending a minimum of five years at university. So that's that's what I did. First of all, I spent five years in a library studying and and then trying to resite everything I had learned briefly at an exam. So for five years and then and then I decided because it was the early 90s and Spain was a tough place for a for a young law graduate to find a job, at least someone without without connections in high places. I came to Britain to study even more. The only thing I had done for for nearly 20 years or more than 20 years. And I decided to come here to study a bit more. And that was, I guess, the the beginning of my of my journey into privacy by, by coming to the UK to do a master's.

Anthony Brown: [00:04:01] Wow. Okay. So that's interesting. So so you came over to the UK. When you say study, so did you go to a university in the UK. So you so you did a Masters. Yeah. Yeah. And what was.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:04:13] That? I went to Leicester University. Imagine this is I think it was 1993. The internet didn't exist. So so how, how how do you find about courses or masters if you are in living in northern Spain and you want to go abroad and study something in English? And it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy because a library wouldn't really have much information other than the odd brochure that was probably ten years old. But through some advice from lecturers at university and others, I found about some good programs in the UK, I was very keen to come to the UK, a land of opportunity which I think is still is and and yeah, and I applied to 3 or 4 universities. I got, I got offers from maybe not all of them, but at least 2 or 3. And I decided that Leicester sounded like a nice place. And we had, without having ever been to Leicester or having ever visited Leicester University, I embarked myself into, into this journey to, to study a master's at Leicester Uni.

Anthony Brown: [00:05:30] And was that a law? Was that a master's in law?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:05:32] Yeah, it was on international trade law or something to that effect. Master an LLM, and it was one of those that you had a menu of, I don't know, 15 or 20 subjects and you had to choose four. So I chose the four that sounded more exciting or, or more different to what I had already studied. Not none of those said data protection, by the way. I think the closest to that was something like telecoms or or competition law or intellectual property. And so I picked those type of subjects thinking that technology and communications was going to be a leading issue for in the development of, of new areas of law. And that was a little bit my my thinking at the time.

Anthony Brown: [00:06:20] So it sounds like you were, you know, very early on in your life,you sort of wanted to be a lawyer. You'd identified that as, as a career for you. What drew you in the first place, you think, how did it all come about?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:06:32] Um, maybe I think it was more of an elimination process and a vocation to be a lawyer. There is no tradition of anyone being a lawyer in in my family, but I knew I wasn't that good at sciences. Um, and in terms of humanities, I like history a lot. I like literature, literature a lot. But I thought, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make a living necessarily by by knowing a lot about the French Revolution. So I thought, law sounds like something that doesn't involve a lot of mathematics. And, um, and you may be able to make a living. So almost by elimination, I chose law. And in the end, these days, I'm doing a lot of mathematics by by looking at how algorithms work and so on. But but at least at the time, it sounded less, less scary than other subjects.

Anthony Brown: [00:07:27] So you so obviously you finished your master's and then. And then what happened? Did you go into a law firm and train or.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:07:35] Well, the year in Leicester obviously changed my life because I met my wife and she's from Canada, and we were both in neutral territory at the time, obviously in the UK. And we thought, well, if we find jobs here we can stay together and, and let's try to find a job. And of course, I thought myself that getting a job, even as a paralegal in a British law firm, whatever happened next would be a very good move from, from a professional perspective, just because even if I was going to go back to Spain, which was, I guess, my original plan, I would I would be able to say that not only I had a master's, I could speak a bit of English, and but I had some experience of working in a law firm in the UK, which would have looked pretty good, I think, in, in the early 90s in, in Spain. So with that objective of staying in the UK, um, and also finding a job, that's, that's what I tried to do shortly after I finished my master's.

Anthony Brown: [00:08:46] Okay. And so what material is there then?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:08:48] So what happened was again, in those days, email didn't exist, or at least not outside universities. And I send lots of faxes, and I thought they had an international, they were sufficiently international. Or someone had mentioned to me that they may be prepared to recruit a paralegal from a different country. And one of those law firms in Birmingham was receptive to that. It was Martineau Johnson, and I got an interview and I bought myself a suit and, and I went to, to Birmingham to do an interview and whatever I said worked or did the trick because I got a job offer for a six month paralegal position in Birmingham. So I then moved to Birmingham and I started to to work as a, as a lawyer, even though I wasn't qualified in the UK yet.

Anthony Brown: [00:09:50] Amazing. So I'd imagine that the young Eduardo at that time was, well, you'd already demonstrated that you were a go getter. You were prepared to take risks. You must have entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurial spirit in you wanting to better yourself. And I guess I'm sure that the firm that you joined as a paralegal will have spotted this in you and obviously thought, well, six months, come on, let's, you know, let's continue this. It sounds like that for sure. What happened there? How long were you there? And did they help you then train as a lawyer or.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:10:22] Yeah. So what happened? I mean, so my job as a paralegal, I didn't even know what that I had never, ever worked in a law firm. I didn't really know what a law firm truly did, let alone a British law firm. So I thought, well, whatever I do, I need to do a good job, whatever it is. And and I seem to remember, um, giving jobs like making photocopies and things like that. And I'm thinking, well, I'm going to make the best photocopies that these guys have ever seen. And remember, I don't know, putting post-its around the edges to make sure that there were no lines and things like that. So I probably took a long time to make that. But that was it was that spirit of trying to impress my employers that I started my six month contract, and again, I managed to impress them enough for them to extend it to to another for another six months. In the meantime, I realized that even though I was already qualified under Spanish law as a Spanish lawyer, and I could have practiced as a lawyer, as a qualified lawyer in Spain, and I had my law degree and a master's, and I spoke. I spoke Spanish, which I thought was a helpful thing to do in, in a, in a foreign country. Um, all of that was not particularly helpful without being a solicitor, because without being a solicitor, all you could aspire to be was a paralegal.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:11:56] So I thought, okay, to make the rest of the stuff count. All the all these other things that I have, I really need to become a solicitor. So I decided to study to pass what it was at the time, the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test, which was a mechanism to to qualify as an English solicitor. Once you were qualified in a different jurisdiction, and by taking a test and showing that you had some experience of working in a law firm, which at the time I was starting to have, um, I it took it took a little bit of time. I'm not ashamed to say that the first time I actually failed the test, I think I didn't I didn't study enough, I guess, or my brain was not ready yet. But I have to say, the law firm was super, super supportive because I guess they saw this guy that was with a trying trying to to make a career. I was already then, for the first time, data protection started to appear in the horizon. And we can talk about how what was the first data protection job I ever did. So I think this law firm, again, was very entrepreneurial in that respect. And they thought, okay, well, let's help this guy and see and see what he can do for us. So that's that's how amazing amazing started.

Anthony Brown: [00:13:25] Are you? Are you still in touch with any of those people? Have they followed your your career and realize what they began or helped to begin?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:13:33] Well, I am in touch at least with one person there who writes at least every Christmas. And, and, and I know some of the people that are still there. So yes. No, we haven't seen each other for a while, but I know, I know they are there and and every time I have an opportunity to publicly thank that law firm for what it did for me, I do. So yeah, thank you, Martineau Johnson, because that was the beginning of my career and I wouldn't be I wouldn't be here today talking with you if I hadn't had that chance. And they they hadn't thought that I could do something for them.

Anthony Brown: [00:14:13] Absolutely. Well. Hats. Hats off to them. Definitely. So then you. I think you then moved to Berwin Leighton Paisner, obviously now known as BCP or Bryan Cave. Leighton Paisner. And I think you spent what, six years there when you moved there Eduardo What was what did your focus look like, your practice look like?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:14:34] So I'm of the I think it was probably like 19 at the end of 1997 or something like that. By then what had happened was, again, Martineau Johnson, still as a paralegal, I started to get questions from from other partners who had been asked by their clients questions about data protection law, which nobody knew anything about. And again, this is the kind of job that when nobody knows anything about, the paralegal goes on research things and that and and the other advantage I had was that it was I was just the right generation of people who knew how to use the internet. So I was this this guy who was able we didn't even have an internet connection at first at Martineau Johnson. So I used to go to Birmingham University and use the computers there to do research on the internet, which was very, very slow, but it was still very impressive. So through that, I was able to get information about how to register with the data protection registrar and things like that and, and became the the go to person for data protection questions. That was also the beginning of of the internet as a, as a way of doing business. And I sort of carved myself a little bit of a, of a role at Martineau Johnson doing that kind of work. And what happened was that eventually I did qualify as a solicitor whilst I was still there. And they said to me, look, you seem to be very, very keen to develop a career in, in data protection and internet law. And we want to be honest with you, we don't have a lot of that type of work.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:16:26] I'm not sure if you're going to really generate all of your own work with being a newly qualified, so, you know, you can stay here and perhaps do more commercial deals with commercial law issues, or if you really, really want to look into these new issues, perhaps you need to look more widely, which again, was very truthful of of of them to approach it like that. So that prompted me to say, okay, what is out there outside this law firm in Birmingham? And, and I looked at possible in-house positions in other law firms, and that led me to an interview to several interviews. But one of them at what was then called Paisner and Co, a law firm in London on Fleet Street, and I had an interview there where I was literally grilled by a couple of Partners, including a wonderful partner called Linda Fasani. And she, she she was there with her newborn baby, who I thought was was there to try to distract me. Anyway, with all these questions about internet and data protection and all that. And again, that was I was really in my element answering these very nerdy questions that they probably didn't even know the answers themselves. So that, again, I managed to impress them enough to to give them a job. And that was the beginning of my, of my time at what was then pace around court. Then it merged with Berwin Leighton. So it was Berwin Leighton Paisner for, as you say, six years.

Anthony Brown: [00:18:08] Wow. Amazing. So? So what a time to, you know, to be around. I guess all the.com boom time, everything. There's the Y2K, everything's going on. And so you're you're here. You must have been thinking. Blimey, you know what a time to be alive. You know, there's so much exciting, interesting stuff here. And so it sounds like, I mean, as you just alluded to or said that, you know, the people were probably asking you questions, may not have known the answers themselves. So you must have been have to be really proactive around this time, going out there, speaking to people, learning, you know, it's really sort of cutting edge stuff, I guess. And that comes from within, I guess, within a person in their career that drive that, that, that, that desire to learn and did. How is that kind of really synopsis is how of how you were around that sort of time as a person.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:19:00] Yeah. And I would say, I mean, without getting, I guess, too, too philosophical. We are always learning in the sense that the moment you think you know, stuff is the moment you become obsolete. So to say that at that time I had a sort of an ambition to to learn new things is an understatement because everyone, everything was so new, you know, in a sense that still, being a lawyer wasn't completely new to me, working in a in a law firm that now in London was a new experience. Um, and, and the technology was developing, as you said, the year 2000. That was a big question mark. What was going to happen on the 1st of January of 2000 with all the computers in the world crash. And it was it was kind of a scary in a way, but kind of exciting in terms of, oh, how can lawyers contribute to the solution? And, and that and of course, data protection was starting to be a thing. Data protection law. In 1998, the UK was the first country to to implement the Data Protection Directive of 1995. So we were advising and again based on call was very into advising technology clients or data driven clients, internet internet businesses and therefore the work was the top quality work was was there and I threw myself in into that tried to learn from from other partners and and and that's but that's something that you should never stop doing in a in a way I think because again, there are new things happening all the time. And, and that that approach is really what makes your, your career interesting in a way.

Anthony Brown: [00:20:58] Do you still have clients from back then or people who have been on the journey with you? So?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:21:08] So the answer is yes. I can think of at least one client that I was literally visiting in the US last week, which was at the very least introduced to me by a client of of Paisner and Co in those days. So we're still working with them on, on data issues. So yeah, some of the connections that I made at the time are still very much alive.

Anthony Brown: [00:21:37] That's amazing. That really is. And actually I'm I hadn't sort of planned to ask you this question, but I'm interested to know, you know, the environment. Well, the world we're living in now and the, the the advent of Web3, blockchain technologies. Are you seeing similarities or have you, over the last few years, compared to back at that time when the internet exploded, you know, in terms of innovation?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:22:03] Absolutely. I mean, I'll give you an example. I think what I think, what I think is going to be pretty revolutionary from a legal perspective, is the law around artificial intelligence and the specific laws that are going to be enacted and, and passed regulating the development and the use of artificial intelligence. Those laws don't exist today. They are in the making. So where we are today in relation to that space is essentially where we were in the mid 90s when I was starting as a lawyer in relation to data protection, that it was a time where there was a perceived need, that the use of data needed to be regulated, because there was going to be this massive exponential growth in the use of personal data, and there were risks around that that needed to be addressed. And that's what drove to to to pass these new laws. And again, they are they were completely new laws that didn't exist in the in the legal framework before, before then, at least not at a, at a global scale. And we're seeing exactly the same, the same issues. I've said to my team for the past year, a couple of years, if you if you want to really make a career in a new area of law and be, you know, be influential in the way in which the law develops, just get into this now, learn this what is happening, because there is no real expert. There is no global expert today on AI law. You know, you don't have a global expert on, on on a law that doesn't exist yet. But it is it is an opportunity for almost everyone to be a specialist in this new area. So I think that what you say is exactly right. There are developments taking place today, both in terms of what's happening in the world technologically, but what is happening legally that are very similar to what I was seeing 30 years ago.

Anthony Brown: [00:24:16] Amazing. Yeah. And it must be, uh, it must be quite a, um, you know, an experience for you, perhaps within your team, you know, to have people that have got the opportunity to be trailblazers like you were all those years ago, and now you're sort of handing over the baton to them and and no doubt these people have got similar attributes that you've got and had, and it must be quite rewarding for you to be able to, to do that with your team.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:24:47] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, our team is so enthusiastic and we've got such, such brilliant people on the team that, um, I'm excited, I'm excited for for all of them in a, in a way. I mean, I'm excited. It's not like I want to abandon this, this at all, but I can see that there are years ahead of development in, in these new areas that again, if I, if I were in my mid 20s or late 20s or early 30s, I would say I've got 30 years ahead of me of becoming a real specialist in this and still be learning by the time I retire, but I think I will have contributed to to how this law develops. So I think that's what I think is particularly exciting. And and yes, that's the kind of stuff that we talk, that we talk about at team meetings and, and I hope people get get this.

Anthony Brown: [00:25:44] Absolutely. How exciting. So you then obviously you spent time at what is now Bryan Paisner and then you moved, which, you know, I think anyone like myself, who's been in and around the industry for a number of years now, will know know you from your time at Fieldfisher, which now Field Fisher Waterhouse. You spent, I think, a decade there. Um, and I guess, Eduardo, that you, you know, you would have joined there, perhaps as an associate. And by the time you left ten years later, you were a partner of the firm. Can you just give us a sort of a some insight into that journey, how you found it, and maybe a few tips for people who are in a similar situation and would like to ultimately become a partner.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:26:34] Sure, sure. Oh, wow. And go back in time a little bit. But, um, so, I mean, the years at Berwin, Leighton Paisner, I think were the years where I guess I matured as a lawyer from being a newly qualified to being a very senior associate who who was already confident enough to be in front of clients for, for, for, for a bit of time and, and give advice on new issues. And what, what I think led me to Fieldfisher was the opportunity to really build my own practice there because I, I got, uh, I got to the stage where I had to, again, make a decision as to whether to continue, uh, BLP or take this opportunity. And I was approached by Fieldfisher, which again at the time. This is again 2003 or 2004. Um, at the time was a small but actually very, very niche and leading firm. And I guess it still is in a way, uh, in, in anything to do with technology, with new developments. And at the time, there was a data protection or privacy team at Fieldfisher. It was the it was very well known for outsourcing work, which was really cutting edge at the time. And, and I was I joined with the promise of if you if you do well and if you bring in enough data protection work, you can you can have your own practice and you become a partner here.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:28:13] And again, I saw that as a as an opportunity to, uh, to throw myself into into that, uh, we form a small team and, and yes, that led to certainly sufficient work to show that there was work in data protection for for a whole new practice, substantial work, good quality. And that is how I, I became a partner at Fieldfisher and it was a fantastic time as well because, um, again, the internet had also matured and some of the issues that we see today, like the complexities of international data transfers and global data protection, were already starting to develop at at the time. And that's where I really learned the complexity, the true complexities of data protection law. So that was that was a fun time. And and we ended up with a very, very large team, which is still which is still I see that as my legacy in a way, is still there today. And I rate the lawyers at Fieldfisher very highly because, again, they have retained that practice. And they are they are operating at a very good level. So yes, that's that was fun.

Anthony Brown: [00:29:40] Excellent. And how long did it take you to become a partner during your time there?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:29:45] So I think it was probably about, I don't know, maybe a couple of years. It probably felt like ten, but because from, from the first time, from the first moment, I mean, I would have probably said, well, I think I should join as a partner, but they had all the all the cards in a way. And they, they said, look, this is an opportunity for you. And but yeah, so it probably took me a couple of years, one to want to show that it could be done and another one to show that it wasn't just luck. And after a couple of years, I became a partner. So. Wow.

Anthony Brown: [00:30:24] It's still pretty quick, though, isn't it? I mean, that's not bad if you think.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:30:29] The ground was quite fertile in the sense that I think they were. Hopefully they were half convinced that it was going to work at least, and that I was going to deliver. And and I guess, look, in a law firm, the the numbers speak for themselves. In a way, and that shows what you are capable of.

Anthony Brown: [00:30:46] Yeah, absolutely. So just in terms of anyone who's listening, who is currently in a law firm, whatever level they are, but a non partner at the moment, what would be your sort of tips to them. You know, in terms of really expediting their journey really to the top.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:31:06] So look on our team at Hogan Lovells we've got people across the whole range of sort of seniority or lack of it. And for example, literally a couple of weeks ago, one of our, one of our trainees who had sat with us in her final seat, joined the team as a newly qualified. So and we we recruit, uh, the last I think the last three, uh, three newly qualified have been trainees at Hogan Lovells that have sat with us. So we recruit at that, at that junior level. And I always say to, to, to, to them, I know you don't have a lot of experience and that's logical. But you what you do have is enthusiasm. And I think that's what you can demonstrate. And enthusiasm is useful for a number of things. It's useful because others see that other others believe what you what you have to say or what you have to contribute and pay attention. Enthusiasm is good because it motivates you to to to learn more and to to discover new things. But it's also useful because it kind of takes away the fear of being very, very junior and saying, oh my God, what am I going to? What am I going to do here? Surrounded by these people who seem to know their stuff a lot better than me? And I think, um, you know, that's that's a little bit how you approach your career at that early stage.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:32:45] And then as you progress without again, the main message is, don't lose that enthusiasm, of course. And don't lose that that willingness to learn, but then use it to make yourself confident so that you believe in what you what you're doing, and you are prepared to spot the opportunities. I think that is really, really important as well. The world of in law, I think, or at least what I've seen is, is full of opportunities because there are always new issues, there are always new challenges, and the law is never simpler. It's always becoming more complicated. So there are always new, new opportunities, and it's a matter of spotting them and pursuing them. And sometimes being a junior lawyer gives you the, the freedom to to say, okay, well, this is something I'm interested in. A partner may not have the time to explore this new area. I'm going to say, would you be interested in writing in me, writing a blog post or something about this area, or would it be interesting for the team to have a bit of a training session? I'm happy to to share. Uh, I wrote this memo and I'm happy to to share it with the team. And it's that type of, uh, internal sort of work that that is very, very helpful. And I encourage everyone to, to, to undertake because that's how you, how you that's how exactly you progress.

Anthony Brown: [00:34:23] Yeah, absolutely. And as you demonstrated all those years ago, it's good to take care of photocopying as well and do a good job with that, isn't it. But yeah. Yeah. No, that's.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:34:35] Thoroughly is also good as well. Yes.

Anthony Brown: [00:34:38] Yeah. Well I mean that's I think for anyone listening who's just sort of starting out in their career or, you know, a junior level, um, you know, it sort of it shows that it pays to be embracing, be open minded, have the energy and the desire to really learn and push forward and work hard. All of these sort of attributes that haven't changed over the course of time across all careers, really, they're still as important today, obviously, within the world of, of of law. Sorry. You of course have to have a sharp mind and the intellect obviously to, you know, to, to to do what is very often complex work along the way. Eduardo, how, how important is it and how important has it been for you to have, you know, really strong relationships with partners or leaders and people who advocate for you? Is there any one that perhaps stands out for you, you know, in your career that's been someone who's really helped you along the way?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:35:38] Oh, loads. Loads of people, I would say. I mean, maybe people who don't even know they were helpful. But I mean, if we start with with my first love from the managing partner at the time, who again made the decision to to to take me on. He helped me. And then when I went to Paisner & Co, I mentioned Linda Fasani and there was another partner called Adam Rose, who is now at Mishcon, who were very helpful in my career. And to be honest, many of the other partners at Paisner and Co was a very, very collaborative law firm. And I know we all say that these days, but it was the kind of firm maybe because it was, you know, relatively small where and people knew each other were people were keen to help you. And that that is an amazing place. If you are in a place where people are keen to help you. Um. The same thing as efficient, certainly at Hogan Lovells. The one thing about Hogan Lovells and we haven't spoken about my job, but it was from going to Fieldfisher to to a law firm that was ten times the size. And I thought, oh my God, what am I going to be doing here? Um, and, and even in a big law firm, people can be very helpful and have time for you.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:37:04] And and that spirit is so, so, so important in, in any workplace. I would I would think and the thing is people are in my view, people are always willing to help because it's it's nice. It's nice to have it's nice to work with others that are that you, you see, are also part of your team. And, and I think from that perspective, I mean, the person there was a even people I always I'm always complimented. I think of people of my own competitors and people at other law firms. And there was when I joined Hogan Lovells, the reason why I joined them and and there was a lot it took it took a while in the sense that they had been in touch with me for, for, for quite some time. And I kept saying, look, I'm living the dream here. I've got my own practice, I've got a really good team. My Partner was a Stewart Room. The other partner in the practice at Fieldfisher, we were we were having a dream life in the sense that we were acting on the coolest, new and most challenging data protection issues. So.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:38:25] But there was a partner at Hogan Lovells in the States who who I knew and I really, really respected Chris. Chris Wolfe and Chris said to me, come on, come on. Look, I know, I know, you're living the dream, but come on, talk to us. Can I just have a chat with you? Because I think that you you could develop even further in this firm because I know you. You're you look globally at these issues and you understand the global implications of privacy and data protection and, and that's that's what we are by default in a way. And and he was also very helpful in trying to explain how a big law firm, because I had never been to like a truly big law firm with literally thousands and thousands of lawyers and, and literally nearly a thousand partners. So all of these people that you encounter in your career and are able to contribute things to, to what you do are extremely helpful. And I think it's it's almost, uh, it's something that we should all always reciprocate with. Um, and I think that that's ultimately the working environment is a very social environment, even even in pandemic times. So being able to to have these relationships is really crucial.

Anthony Brown: [00:39:56] Absolutely. And what would you say, Eduardo, to someone who's listening now, who is considering not not just a career in law within privacy, but a career in privacy itself? If if they were saying, Eduardo, should I make the leap? Shall I do it? What do you think?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:40:14] Well, I mean, what can I what can I say? When again when I was, I don't know, in my late 20s and I was saying to my parents at that time, I think I'm going to be a data protection lawyer. They said, are you sure? Are you that you shouldn't be a commercial lawyer just to to watch your horizons a bit? And I said, no, no, this is kind of a really, really big and and it turned out to be right. But and and I'm glad they supported me, by the way, they didn't think I was crazy, but it's still the same today. Privacy, cyber security are some of the biggest legal issues of our time because they affect everything. There is every single organization out there that relies on data today to not just to, to, to succeed, but to survive. And the value of data has proven how important data protection law is because it regulates a very, very, very important asset for and valuable item for, for the world. And therefore it will it will always be there. But it's also very political. We see a lot of data protectionism at the time, at the moment. And and we also see all kinds of challenges around access to data internationally, by companies, by law enforcement. And these issues are not going to go away. So the future is bright in, in, in privacy and data protection and cyber security. And and as you said at the very beginning, it's a it's a very wide tent. In the old days, it was just a handful of lawyers and the odd consultant. But right now, people from all all backgrounds have a role to play. And indeed it's it's become so complex that it's a truly multidisciplinary area. And and doing doing privacy. Right. And organizations need to face very, very difficult challenges always requires this sort of multidisciplinary approach to to the issue. So yeah, great future ahead, I can promise you that.

Anthony Brown: [00:42:37] Absolutely awesome. Um, so just a couple of quick questions. Um, just perhaps for a little bit of fun here, but who who do you think, Eduardo, in your opinion? Um, internationally is the most influential person currently in privacy.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:42:55] Wow. The most influential person in. Privacy. Wow. Um, globally, I think if you look at what is happening globally, a lot of it is, uh, is driven by sort of international compliance and international. So anyone who is involved in sort of getting the global piece of, of data protection right will be very important. I mean, perhaps jokingly, someone who has contributed a lot to the success of data protection professionals is our friend Max Schrems, who has managed to get so much attention to the to this issue and so much has shaken things, so much that I remember having an exchange with him on Twitter saying, my friend, you are the number one work generator for for data protection lawyers because the issues that he has uncovered in a way are very, very relevant today. So yeah, but I'm sure there are many, many people who are influential. And as I say, it's also a very political issue. So governments around the world, including the UK, that are looking into how to develop a data protection public policy, anyone working in government will be very influential in that respect.

Anthony Brown: [00:44:33] Indeed, indeed. And final question for you. Who would be your ultimate dinner guest? Wow. Or guests?

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:44:42] Ultimate dinner guest. Someone interesting to have dinner with. Well let me. They said. Have you heard of this? A writer called Malcolm Gladwell. I've been reading one of his books recently. Malcolm Gladwell is. I think he's Canadia, like my wife. So I think we would he would probably accept an invitation and we would we could talk about kind of his. He he writes, um, books about lots of things that are going on in the world. And he's also a runner. I heard a podcast with him when he was talking about an Ironman runner, so we could probably talk about run as well as things going on in the world. So Malcolm Gladwell would be an interesting dinner dinner companion, I'm sure.

Anthony Brown: [00:45:32] Yeah, I'm going to I'm going to look him up and it's good. Good to know that Mrs. Ustaran would also be very accommodating as well with the Canada link.

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:45:40] So the absolute best and healthiest food as well!

Anthony Brown: [00:45:48] Excellent. Well, I think that's just about us finished. Eduardo, I just like to say a massive thank you to you for sharing your story. I'm sure anyone who's listened to this will have taken lots away from it. You've really given us all a great insight into your career and, you know, some, some great messages to take away. So on behalf of everyone, really keep up the great work, please. And you've been a such a positive influence on the world of privacy and inspiration to others for many years now. So please keep up the good work. And to our listeners, thank you very much for listening. Look forward to discussing more journeys through privacy with more special guests soon. But bye for now and take care. Thank you very

Eduardo Ustaran: [00:46:33] Much.

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