Steptoe Adds Privacy & Cybersecurity Lawyer Charles Helleputte in Brussels

1st September 2020

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce the arrival of privacy and cybersecurity lawyer Charles-Albert Helleputte as a partner in the firm's Brussels office. Joining him in his move to Steptoe is associate Diletta De Cicco, who also focuses on privacy and cybersecurity matters.

Helleputte advises clients on compliance with existing EU and national cybersecurity, data and privacy laws, such as the directive on security of network and information systems (the NIS Directive), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Cybersecurity Act, along with upcoming developments such as the ePrivacy Regulation and the Digital Services Act. He has worked with clients in a range of sectors, including hospitality, financial, insurance, travel, aviation, and infrastructure, helping to respond to increased security, accountability and transparency requirements towards their users, testing new responses to those challenges through the use of standards and certification mechanisms, implementing data governance programs and developing global data transfer mechanisms.

Helleputte has specific experience in developing incident management policies and procedures and in handling complex incidents in a cross-border context. He is also active in transactional work, from cybersecurity and data privacy due diligence to audits and negotiations in the course of M&A operations and post-closing programs' integration.

"Charles focuses on privacy, data and cybersecurity, and assists clients in the implementation of compliance programs and in the development of incident management policies and procedures," said Steptoe Chair Phil West. "He is well-known in the Brussels market for his in-depth knowledge of EU privacy, data and cybersecurity laws and regulations, is a prolific writer, and regularly speaks on industry panels on these issues. His and Diletta's arrivals expand our leading Privacy & Cybersecurity practice with a Brussels-based team that can assist clients with EU and cross-border matters."

Ruxandra Cana, managing partner of Steptoe's Brussels office, added: "Charles' arrival is a further testimony to the strength and growth of the Brussels office, and his practice fits perfectly with the other practices in the office, focused on those EU law areas that are of most concern, and most impact to our clients. We look forward to working with him and Diletta."

Steptoe's Brussels office brings together Belgian, British, Chinese, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian, Spanish, Swiss and US lawyers who advise on EU law. The office's multidisciplinary teams (lawyers, policy advisors, and scientists) help clients with regulatory issues and disputes arising from the implementation of EU law and regulation in chemicals, environmental and life sciences; competition; financial services and reinsurance; cybersecurity, data and privacy; and international trade, customs, export controls and sanctions.

Helleputte remarked: "Cybersecurity and privacy are one of the areas of concern that recently elevated to board awareness across industries, and an area of focus for the digital and telecom industries. Data, a key enabler to innovation, has unique legal challenges. As regulators across the EU are becoming increasingly active in digital platforms, I’m delighted to be joining Steptoe. Not only does the firm boast a stellar Privacy & Cybersecurity team founded by Michael Vatis and Stewart Baker, the firm has renowned international regulation and compliance practices that will provide the perfect platform to further grow my practice."

Previously, Helleputte headed the privacy and cybersecurity team in Brussels for another international law firm. He is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), holds a CIPP/E certification and serves as co-chair of the Brussels KnowledgeNet Chapter. Helleputte has been appointed as a "Legal Expert" by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), and is active in the Digital Economy Committee at AmCham EU. Helleputte is fluent in English and Dutch, in addition to his native French.

Helleputte received his B.A. from the Université Saint-Louis, Brussels. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, and an executive master degree, cum laude, from Solvay Business School.

For more information, please read the press release.

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