Tell us what you do 

As Data Protection and Privacy (DPP) Director, I provide recommendations to our clients to ensure that management of personal data meets the requirements set by the GDPR, as well as all other privacy regulations they may be subject to. I also support and manage our DPP team as part of providing quality guidance to our clients.

How did you get into the data privacy profession? Tell us a little about your journey

I grew up, studied and qualified as a lawyer in Belgium. As a member of the Brussels’ Bar, I worked for law firms specialised in commercial, civil, property and IP laws. I moved to the UK in 2012 to join a leading e-Discovery vendor company. After four years, I joined the Legal and Compliance department of a global BPO organisation as Director of Managed Review. When the GDPR came into force in 2018, the organisation needed a new lead for their privacy operations across the EU. My legal and compliance background, coupled with my language skills, led to being asked to oversee all privacy operations. Over time, I covered not only the EU but operations in Europe and Turkey as Director of Privacy, International. In March 2023, I joined HewardMills as DPP Director, heading the Service Delivery team.

What training and education do you think is essential to your role?

In my role, I think it is essential to have a good understanding of privacy law, IT and cybersecurity. For these reasons, I’d say education or training in at least one of the three areas is key, knowing that the very nature of the role will inevitably lead anyone to learn about all three.

Other than the knowledge, what other attributes would you say are invaluable in this field?

Analytical skills are important for figuring out how best to sort out issues or prevent potential incidents. Good communication skills are key to support the team and liaising with clients. Multilingual skills are also extremely useful when it comes to reviewing and drafting guidance on global privacy requirements, particularly for clients with interests in multiple regions globally.

What’s the best part of your work?

With most of the world working remotely and my role being hybrid, I love meeting up and chatting with the team and clients whenever the opportunity arises.

What’s the most challenging aspects of what you do?

Servicing clients globally requires meticulous organisation across projects and teams, to ensure each client, whatever their size or remit, is given equal high-quality service. I’m grateful to work in a team where we continually collaborate to ensure this aspect of service delivery remains at a high level.

What’s the oddest case you ever came across?

A ransomware attack that led to hundreds of people’s data to be exfiltrated and used to set up fake companies with the presumed goal of seeking covid business grants.

What’s your favourite way to unwind when you’re not at work?

One of my favourite ways to unwind is a good jog or walk while listening to an audiobook or a literary podcast. I recently enjoyed listening to “Ikigai: the Japanese secret to a long and happy life” by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles and will probably go next for “Girl, woman, other” by Bernardine Evaristo.

What’s the most random thing that ever happened to you and how did you cope?

I was mistaken for a drug mule in Miami on transit from Georgetown to London and consequently missed my flight. I would lie if I said I managed to stay composed! Ultimately, I ended up staying overnight and had a chance to see Miami, which was not so bad after all.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I proposed to my husband on the 29 February in the auditorium where we studied together.

Finally, what would you advise anyone interested in getting into the same profession?

The two things I usually keep in mind when I advise clients are:

  1. Step into their shoes and understand exactly how a specific situation impacts their business, team or customers. Whatever their demeanor might be during a crisis, it’s never personal, just real concern for solving a super urgent issue.
  2. Be pragmatic – clients usually look for solutions not a thesis. As lawyers we love theory and lots of words but ultimately we just need to assure the client that we understand what the issue is and have the expertise, insight and know-how to help them find solutions.

HewardMills is dedicated to assisting clients to address data privacy and regulatory issues. We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at