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Peter @ work: profile
Legal technologist, combining legal practice with software development:
- Legal practice: Belgian lawyer (focus on data protection, cybersecurity and information technology law) with a strong EU law background.
Specific legal expertise: privacy & data protection, cybersecurity, cookies & online advertising, IT contracts & litigation, digital identity, e-commerce.
- Legal innovation: developer of a variety of IT tools used in day-today legal practice, including Notify (data breach assessment), document automation software, DPIA tool, etc.
A few traits: entrepreneurial, business-minded, orator, “Di” DiSC profile.
What makes me different
I’m a lawyer who writes software. The combination of legal expertise and technical IT know-how is useful in both fields: as a lawyer, it means that I understand the tech better and am in a better position to give relevant advice, or draft a contract that makes sense; as a developer, it means that I know what software tools lawyers need in their daily work… and what their clients need.
The work I am doing right now
Current legal work:
- Lawyer @ DLA Piper (Brussels, Belgium)
- Senior Lead Lawyer (Senior Associate) at the law firm DLA Piper in the Intellectual Property & Technology team, with a focus on data protection law, cybersecurity law, (industrial and information) technology law, intellectual property law and marketing law, as well as commercial law more generally.
Lead at an international level for dozens of large-scale GDPR projects (& contributor to many more), as well as for client-specific workshops & seminars on GDPR and cybersecurity.
Creator of a range of tools for GDPR projects used internationally by DLA Piper, notably Notify, which was “Highly Commended” at the 2019 Financial Times “Innovative Lawyers” awards.
January 2017 – present
Recent software development work:
- Development of a data breach severity assessment tool (more information on the DLA Piper website) – industry recognition: “Highly Commended”, 2019 Financial Times “Innovative Lawyers” awards.
- Notify is a self-contained web application designed to bring consistency and accountability into breach response handling, by banishing gut feeling and replacing it with an objective & quantitative assessment and helping organisations document their handling of a personal data breach.
- Development of a fully featured document generator (document automation), initially for contracts but made broader (more information on the Karla website).
- Karla allows you to rapidly and easily create personalised documents based on your own contract templates.
- Miscellaneous projects
- Ongoing maintenance & improvement of the Interest Calculator (see below), creation of a statistical formula (and website implementing it) for calculating notice periods in distributorship agreements, as well as smaller apps.
Spoken & supported languages
Languages in the everyday sense of the word
- English: native
- French: native
- Dutch: fluent, almost like a native (thanks to my Flemish wife)
- German: I used to be pretty good, but have forgotten most of what I knew
- Japanese: I know a couple of phrases. Hajimemashite!
Computer languages in which I code all the time
Some of the work I have done in the past
Previous legal work:
- Senior Review Manager @ Consilio (London, UK)
- Click to edit position descriptionSenior Review Manager, Document Review Services team: management of document review matters and team coordinator for review and redaction, using platforms such as Relativity, Clearwell and Global RPM.
July 2016 – December 2016
- Assistant lecturer @ University of Namur (Namur, Belgium)
- Assistant lecturer for the Comparative Law course and course of Law & Language for 3rd year undergraduate law students at the University of Namur.
September 2014 – August 2016
- Lawyer @ Liedekerke (Brussels, Belgium)
- Associate at the law firm Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick in the Intellectual Property & Information Technology team, with a focus on intellectual property law, (industrial and information) technology law and marketing law, as well as commercial law more generally.
January 2014 – June 2016
- Member (lawyer) @ REPUTATION 365 (Brussels & Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
- Member of the REPUTATION 365 team, exclusive role as go-to lawyer for legal questions relating to intellectual property, information technology and other aspects of both offline and online reputation.
May 2014 – June 2016
- Lawyer @ Loyens & Loeff (Brussels, Belgium)
- Junior Associate in the Technology, Media and Litigation department, working in Commercial law, Intellectual Property law & Information Technology law.
October 2010 – January 2014
- Summer intern @ Allen & Overy (Brussels, Belgium)
- One-month internship in English, French and Dutch, in Intellectual Property/Information Technology (IT) Law.
- Summer intern @ Baker & McKenzie (Brussels, Belgium)
- Summer internship involving research & writing (legal documents and opinions) in English, French and Dutch, in many fields of law (corporate, criminal, IT & pharmaceutical law among others).
Previous software development work:
- Interest Calculator
- Web tool for computing interest, for practitioners of Belgian law. Published by Larcier, one of the largest legal publishers in Belgium, and integrated within its online legal database StradaLex, the Interest Calculator is used by legal practitioners (lawyers, judges, etc.) all over Belgium.
- Miscellaneous projects
- I have made many random websites or web apps, including: the Brick Painter (for creating blueprints for LEGO paintings), a practical guide on how to build and defend a company’s e-reputation, a newsletter editor @ Loyens & Loeff, a case law monitoring tool, a timekeeping app, a URL shortener for legal links, various websites.
What I studied, and where
- Master of Laws in Regulation & Technology
- LL.M. @ King’s College London, London (UK), with courses on intellectual property, information technology, ethics & technology (nano, bio, neuro, …).
Dissertation: Legal Implications of Internet Filtering.
- Master of Laws
- Postgraduate degree in law @ UCLouvain (Université Catholique de Louvain), Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), with a focus on European Union law, international business law and intellectual property law.
Master Thesis: Use of Comparative Law in European Law.
- Bachelor of Laws
- Undergraduate degree in law (at the same time as political science – see below) @ University of Saint-Louis, Brussels (Belgium), with a trilingual curriculum (in English, French and Dutch).
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
- Undergraduate degree in political science (at the same time as law – see above) @ University of Saint-Louis, Brussels (Belgium).