In response to the Schrems decision and other EU Commission and European court activity raising uncertainty around data transfers, top 20 global US law firm Morgan Lewis has opened its own EU data centre in London.
The EU data centre will help clients navigate data privacy, e-discovery and e-disclosure obligations after the European Court of Justice ruled in October 2015 that the Safe Harbour arrangement governing data transfers between EU and U.S. did not provide the level of data protection required by EU law.
At the start of February, the European Commission and the U.S agreed a new framework for transatlantic data flows – the EU-US Privacy Shield – putting in place stronger obligations on the U.S., including, for the first time, written assurances that accessing data for law enforcement and national security purposes will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms.
However, lawyers on both side of the Atlantic have predicted that the decision will be challenged, leaving clients without the cast iron certainty they need to conduct transatlantic business.
Morgan Lewis’ London data centre – which will form part of its global eData service – will be run in-house and the team consists of three London partners; one senior edata lawyer; one technologist for the startup; a number of junior associates and paralegals; and capacity for 20 reviewers, increasing to 30 later this summer.
London partner David Waldron, who leads the European eData group, said: “Recent activity of the EU Commission and European courts has created further uncertainty when it comes to data transfers.
“Our EU data center, which enables us to collect, process, analyze, review, and prepare data and documents for disclosure, all within Europe, eliminates much of that uncertainty and offers our clients a valuable, cost-effective approach. We also offer offshore review in South Africa to further reduce expense in appropriate matters.”
Morgan Lewis, which has 28 offices across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, will host a webinar today, February 23, to explore recent EU decisions—including the Schrems decision and the new EU-US Data Privacy Shield – and provide an overview of the firm’s new EU data centre.