27 Aug 2021

Rajah & Tann to host Singapore office of Bill Gates-backed privacy think tank

Firm takes on privacy expert as part of deal with Washington DC-based Future of Privacy Forum

Singapore’s Rajah & Tann (R&T) has appointed data protection expert Clarisse Girot as an advisor to its TMT team as part of a deal to host the Future of Privacy Forum’s (FPF's) new Singapore office.

Girot has held a number of high-profile roles in the data protection space, most recently as the head of the Asian Business Law Institute’s data privacy project, where she focused on the convergence of data protection laws and regulations of cross-border data transfers in Asia.

She is also a member of the statutory body that oversees the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner having spent 15 years in various roles at France’s data proection authority CNIL, including counsellor to the president – policy, legal and international.

Girot’s appointment is part of a deal for R&T to host the first Asia Pacific office of the Washington DC-based FPF, which appointed Girot as office head and director earlier this month.

The FPF is a non-profit organisation whose backers include The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and whose numerous corporate supporters include Big Tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google and Twitter, as well as law firms such as Hogan Lovells, Bird & Bird and Goodwin Proctor.

It ‘serves as a catalyst’ for privacy leadership and scholarship and works towards advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. 

Its newly-established Asia arm will focus on working with industry, government, academic and civil society stakeholders to advance the forum’s goals in the region and ‘respond to local needs and interests’. 

Rajesh Sreenvisan, head of R&T’s TMT practice, said: “[Girot’s] appointment and our  partnership with the FPF in Asia underscore Rajah & Tann’s commitment to support our clients in privacy and data protection as well as data analytics and cyber security mandates that have now become a key legal risk factor in the digital economy as a surge in data breaches in Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries fuel concern among consumers, regulators and businesses."

He added: "The time has come to build consensus around ethical norms and best practices before the next big breach shatters confidence in new technologies and business models involving data."

In January, Rajah & Tann launched a sustainability practice amid increased regulatory focus for businesses in Asia around environmental, social and governance standards.

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