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18 months’ notice commuted to eight – Field Fisher’s Eduardo Ustaran joins Hogan Lovells

Field Fisher’s high profile former head of privacy Eduardo Ustaran joins Hogan Lovells today (4 June), almost a year before the expiry of the exceptional 18-month notice period announced at the time of his resignation last October.

Ustaran, a dual-qualified English solicitor and Spanish abogado, who built and until last year headed Field Fisher’s first-tier privacy and information law group, will now lead Hogan Lovells’ European team within the global privacy and information management practice. It is understood the top-10 firm is looking to make further hires in this area.

His arrival today follows a statement by Field Fisher in October that his leaving date would be 1 May 2015: an announcement that appeared to come as much as a surprise to Hogan Lovells as to the legal market at large.

Ustaran’s departure is a blow to Field Fisher, despite its leading privacy practice that counts Vodafone, Thomson Reuters, Ernst & Young, Nintendo, Reed Elsevier and Orange Business Services among its clients.

It is understood that Field Fisher, which was also hit this year by the resignation of data protection and privacy partner Stewart Room for PwC Legal in April, and trademark partner Mark Holah for Bird & Bird, is still in negotiations over Ustaran’s clients.

Room will join PwC Legal in October to lead its cyber and data security practice.

On Ustaran’s arrival, Hogan Lovells’ global co-head of privacy and information management practice, Christopher Wolf, said: ‘We already have a strong privacy team in the US, London and in continental Europe, handling US, UK and multi-jurisdictional data protection projects. Eduardo will significantly boost our capabilities in this area. In particular, Eduardo has a highly-regarded track record in advising on complex and business-critical data protection issues, including his involvement in the development of the future EU data protection framework through his advisory role to the UK Ministry of Justice.’

Ustaran added: ‘There has been significant growth and specialisation in data protection and privacy in the EU and globally. I am delighted to be joining one of the largest, most experienced and most global data privacy and information management practices in the world.’

Field Fisher said: ‘We can confirm that Eduardo Ustaran has left the partnership of Fieldfisher and joined Hogan Lovells. We wish him well at his new firm. Moving forward, our focus is on continuing to build on Fieldfisher’s long-standing reputation for excellence in privacy and information law under the leadership of Simon Briskman and Phil Lee.’