The very vibrant levels of work in Provaris’ Digital and Technology practice are being driven by the latest ECJ decisions, legislative changes, and a rising tide of privacy awareness, according to Partner Adam Liber, Co-Head of the firm's Digital and Technology practice.
“Our firm mainly does work in privacy, and IT matters,” Liber begins. “Following the wave of GDPR and the wider increasing awareness of these issues, we’ve decided to place all of our efforts into creating a highly specialized team in these matters.” Liber reports that their practice benefits the most from “mandates previously sent to German, Belgian, and UK firms” but that “clients in Hungary recognized that we, as a local provider with an international legal and consulting background, also have the necessary expertise to deal with sophisticated technology and legal issues, and have started approaching us as well, as of late.”
Liber reports a rather busy 2022 for the Digital and Technology practice, especially when it comes to “international data transfers. It has been a quite busy sector, especially given that the ECJ declared the US Privacy Shield Agreement illegal and the EU Commission released a new set of Standard Contractual Clauses – so there is an ongoing switch to a new set along with the documentation of data transfer impact assessments that drives a lot of work,” Liber reports.
Furthermore, Liber underlines digitalization as being a major driver of work for the practice. “With more and more brick-and-mortar businesses going digital, we find ourselves advising clients on software and platform development and digital services use,” he says. “We utilize a one-stop-shop approach to providing advice related to copyright, e-privacy, e-commerce, consumer protection and distance sales regulations, privacy by design, data protection impact assessments, database consolidation matters, and the use of dark patterns,” he explains.
“The international data transfer work is driven by new court decisions and the enactment of new laws, as well as the challenge presented by increased privacy awareness on these issues and consumers becoming ever-more sophisticated with their requirements,” Liber further elucidates. “Some consumers retaliate against companies even more – when their consumer protection claims are refused – by filing data protection access requests which may cause a lot of headaches for businesses.” Liber reports that such consumer behavior might be costly for tech companies, “which is why more and more external legal counsel is engaged to tackle this work.”
Finally, looking ahead, Liber shares that he expects the Digital and Technology practice will continue to grow. “Due to new legislation incoming and the booming ECJ practice, we soon expect a resolution of several cases the outcome of which will surely influence the work of the IT and data protection practice,” he explains. Liber concludes by adding that, in expectation of such strong levels of work, the Digital and Technology practice has “started expanding through hirings” but that it is also quite “challenging to find suitable people. A strong interest in the technology itself is needed, alongside an in-depth knowledge of the law. This is no longer privacy notice preparation work anymore, we are setting up complete process pipelines for our clients now,” he says.