20 Aug 2021

Rajah & Tann appoints Dr Clarisse Girot as advisor to growing data privacy practice in Southeast Asia

Rajah & Tann (R&T), Singapore’s leading law firm, has appointed Dr Clarisse Girot, a global data protection expert, as advisor to its technology, media and telecommunications team amid strong growth in its data privacy practice in Southeast Asia.

The appointment forms part of an agreement for R&T to host the first Asia-Pacific office of the US-based Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) in Singapore, of which Dr Girot is the new Director. The FPF is a world-renowned non-profit organisation that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies. To this aim, FPF Asia will work with stakeholders in the industry, government, academia, and civil society in the region, with the shared concern to be responsive to local needs and interests and to maintain neutrality in any discourse.

Dr Girot was until recently leading the Asian Business Law Institute (ABLI)’s data privacy project where her key focus was on the convergence of data protection laws and regulations of cross-border data transfers in Asia. She was appointed as ABLI Senior Fellow in an honorary role to perpetuate this work of regional convergence.

Prior to coming to Singapore in 2016, Dr Girot was Counsellor to the President of the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) and Chair of the Article 29 Working Party, the group of EU Data Protection Authorities. Dr Girot is also appointed as member of the Global Reference Panel of the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA), the premier global forum for data protection regulators.

Rajesh Sreenivasan, R&T’s Head of Technology, Media & Telecommunication, said: “We are delighted to have Clarisse on board to share her considerable experience and expertise in both global and regional data protection and privacy.

“Her 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 cybersecurity 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.”

Mr Sreenivasan added that laws on data privacy are fast catching up with the breakneck speed at which regional economies are digitalising. “We hope that our support of the FPF office in Asia will help drive meaningful discussions among different stakeholders in a legal landscape that is as diverse as it is dynamic.

“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.”

Mr Sreenivasan said since R&T launched its privacy and data protection practice in Singapore in 2010, it has rapidly grown the number of lawyers involved in privacy and data protection work across the entire Rajah & Tann Asia network with substantial teams set up in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam in particular. The data protection practice has also evolved into a multidisciplinary team able to provide novel service offerings such as a data breach incident response services on a 24 x 7 x 365 days a year basis in conjunction with cybersecurity specialists from Rajah & Tann Cybersecurity Pte Ltd. In addition, the team leverages the Novusdemia e-learning platform from Rajah & Tann Technologies to provide data protection training services and enterprise level cybersecurity capacity building through interactive e-learning modules.

About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capability to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With over 800 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.