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Strategic hires: Field Fisher head of privacy to join Hogan Lovells but held to 19 month notice period

Hogan Lovells has moved to significantly boost its European privacy capability with the hire of Field Fisher Waterhouse group head Eduardo Ustaran as the departing lawyer is held to a 19 month notice period by his firm.

Having built and led Field Fisher’s first-tier privacy and information law group, heavyweight Ustaran will join 2527-lawyer Hogan Lovells’ global privacy and information practice to manage its European capability.

The dual-qualified English solicitor and Spanish abogado is acknowledged in the Legal 500 as providing ‘very knowledgeable and commercial support’ while also displaying ‘deep involvement in the data protection community.’

Field Fisher’s privacy clients include Vodafone, Thomson Reuters, Ernst & Young, Nintendo, Reed Elsevier and Orange Business Services.

Commenting on Ustaran’s arrival, Christopher Wolf, global co-head of Hogan Lovells privacy and information management practice, said: ‘We are seeing significant growth in privacy and data protection regulation and enforcement in the EU. We already have a strong privacy team in the US, London and in continental Europe in both 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.’

It’s been a turbulent time for 150-partner Field Fisher, which saw it unsuccessfully attempt merger discussions with both Laurence Graham in June 2012 and Osborne Clarke in January this year.

The 358-lawyer firm also unveiled a 3% drop in revenue this year to £95m alongside an 8% drop in profit per equity partner to £398,000.

In a statement Field Fisher said: ‘It has been an absolute pleasure working with Eduardo and we understand his desire to move to Hogan Lovells to leverage their global platform. We wish him every success in his future career. Eduardo Ustaran’s leaving date is 1 May 2015.’

A spokesperson for the firm said that Ustaran was being held to a 19 month notice period because he is a senior equity partner and that the normal notice period is 11 months.