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Legal issues in the field of cybersecurity

Laura Feldman

The legal context for the protection of electronically stored data and data systems from unlawful interference is a fascinating and developing area that bridges different sources and principles, including common law doctrines and statutory and regulatory standards.

With this context in mind, the presentation will assess recent legal developments to attempt to predict legal trends in the field of cyber-security.  The foundation of the current approach is a fast-developing statutory and regulatory framework, most relevantly the important changes implemented under the  EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) framework, which has applied in the UK from 25 May 2018, and similar regimes introduced in other regions and internationally.  By assessing the implementation of regulatory norms, Laura will predict how the regulation against cyber-crime, including controls of crypto-assets, may proceed, particularly in light of the recent FCA Guidance. 

Relatedly, there will be an assessment of recent judicial authorities and legal commentary on rights over crypto-assets. The developments include the observations as part of the UKJT consultation, the extra-judicial speech by the Lord Chancellor, the landmark Singapore Supreme Court decision (holding that bitcoin can be the subject of a trust in B2C2 Ltd v Quoine Ltd SGHV), and the English High Court judgment that held that buyers of bitcoin may benefit from protections afforded to consumers (Ang v Reliantco Investments Ltd [2019] EWCH 879 (Comm)).

The final part of the presentation will explore recent cases in privacy rights in data, and use this analysis to explore potential future judicial developments. Most relevantly, the issues arising from the Court of Appeal decision of WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants [2018] EWCA Civ 2339 and the subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court, and the expected appeal from Lloyd v Google LLC [2018] EWHC 2599 (QB). To conclude, the presentation will predict developments arising from the case-law and risk mitigation measures that can be implemented to address expected movements in the sector.

Laura’s recent blog on the Court of Appeal’s decision can be found here: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/business-law-blog/blog/2019/10/english-court-appeal-hands-down-eagerly-awaited-judgment-clarifying

Speaker bio

Laura is a Visiting Professor at King’s College and Lecturer in Private Law at the University of Oxford. At King’s College, Laura primarily teaches the Trusts Law course, covering all aspects of the syllabus, ranging from discretionary trusts and powers to equitable remedies and trusts in the modern world. She has developed expertise on issues related to equitable rights in the context of insolvency, regulatory frameworks and securitisation. Laura has advised professional trustees on complicated matters in the commercial environment, including pension schemes, investment trusts, and the duties of bond trustees.

At the University of Oxford, Laura teaches Contract Law and the foundations of other Private Law topics (Property, Restitution, Tort and Trusts). From her practical experience, she has extensive expertise in relation to the changing in the judicial approach to contractual interpretation. Laura has also handled cases addressing construction of terms following BREXIT (including versions of the ISDA Master Agreement), exclusion or altering of liability in the context of alleged mis-selling claims (mainly in the field of complex financial instruments such as derivatives and swaps), claims on the grounds of contract and restitution for payments induced by fraud, and oral variations to Loan Market Association finance agreements and related defences on the grounds of estoppel.

Alongside academic commitments, Laura is a Senior Associate (Barrister) at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and advises on contentious issues facing a wide range of clients, including domestic and international banks, Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) companies, high-net-worth individuals/families, insolvency practitioners, investment funds and vehicles, professional trustees, and sovereign states. She has acted in high profile, international, complex disputes, and has broad experience of diverse sectors, including banking and finance, civil fraud and corporate crime, construction, contentious trust, energy, insolvency, insurance, mergers and acquisitions, professional negligence, and property development.

The International Chamber of Commerce UK (ICC) identified Laura as a rising star within the finance sector, and she sits on the ICC UK Banking Committee and is the Coordinator/Chair of the ICC Young Finance Forum. The Panel of Recognised International Market Experts in Finance (P.R.I.M.E Finance) appointed Laura as a Special Rapporteur and Laura is a member of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association’s (ISDA) Arbitration and Financial Law Reform and the Commercial Court and Financial List User Committees. She is widely published in established legal texts, including acting as an editor of the commentary to the Civil Procedural Rules (i.e. the White Book) and publishing several articles in Butterworth’s Journal of International Banking and Financial Law and Thomson Reuter’s Journal of Banking and Finance Law and Practice.

Laura received a BA Honours in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford and was presented with several awards and prizes during the course of her academic studies. The Middle Temple Inn awarded Laura the Astbury Scholarship to complete the BVC, and subsequently the Fox Scholarship to complete a LLM specialising in Commercial Law at the University of Toronto, in turn receiving a distinction and Fellowship from the University.

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