Squire Patton Boggs hires data privacy and cyber team from Steptoe in Brussels

Team is led by partner Charles-Albert Helleputte, who will head firm’s EU data privacy practice

The European Parliament in Brussels Shutterstock

Squire Patton Boggs has hired a team of privacy and cyber lawyers from Steptoe & Johnson in Brussels to expand its data privacy, cybersecurity and digital assets practice group.

The team is led by partner Charles-Albert Helleputte, who comes onboard as the firm’s new head of its EU data and cybersecurity practice and will split his time between Brussels and Paris. He is joined by Brussels and Milan-based counsel Diletta De Cicco and two associates who work in Brussels and London. The team regularly advises clients on a range of cyber and data privacy laws, including the EU’s NIS Directive, GDPR and the Cybersecurity Act, particularly related to cross-border issues.

Alan Friel, chair of Squire’s global data privacy, cybersecurity and digital assets practice, said: “Shifting regulatory conditions, increased M&A work across our European practice and a multitude of other factors continue to drive demand from clients for global data, privacy and cybersecurity counsel.”

Helleputte arrives after just over two years at Steptoe, having previously spent more than 13 years at Mayer Brown including just under five as partner. Prior to that he had spells at Belgian tax law firm Tiberghien, Fortis Bank and Arthur Andersen.

Friel added: “Charles is one of the leading cybersecurity and data privacy experts in Europe, is respected by clients and peers and brings strong relationships with the EU institutions and agencies. He is ideally placed to lead our EU practice and to work with our UK practice group head, David Naylor, to further develop our EMEA data offering.”

De Cicco also joins after just over two years at Steptoe, having followed Helleputte from Mayer Brown, where she spent four years.

Bart Vanderstraete, Squire’s Brussels office managing partner, said: “Charles brings with him a stellar team. Our new associates are all highly experienced, and in our new counsel, Diletta, we also have a talented Italian qualified lawyer who will be able to provide data privacy and cybersecurity advice direct to clients in our busy Milan office.”

The new Brussels team is the latest in a series of data privacy hires at Squire. In July, it expanded its US data privacy bench with the arrival of two senior lawyers – New York-based partner Julia Jacobson, who joined from Arent Fox, and Washington DC-based Shea Leitch, who joined from BakerHosteler as of counsel.

Last month, US peer Goodwin Procter strengthened its cybersecurity team in Washington DC with the arrival of data specialist Kaylee Cox Bankston from Manatt Phelps & Phillips. And earlier in September, Willkie Farr & Gallagher hired crypto lawyer Kari Larsen from Perkins Coie to co-head its digital assets business in New York.

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