Yann Padova Joins Wilson Sonsini’s Regulatory and Compliance Department in Brussels

13th June 2023

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, today announced that Yann Padova has joined the firm’s regulatory and compliance department as a partner in the Brussels office. He will be a member of the firm’s privacy and cybersecurity practice and will be registered with both the Brussels and Paris Bars.

Padova’s substantial regulatory experience—as well as his work in private practice—bolsters Wilson Sonsini’s leading privacy and cybersecurity practice, particularly with respect to regulatory investigations. His addition comes at a time when enforcement activity by European authorities continues to increase, and the EU has proposed new regulatory requirements that apply to companies engaged in digital and online activities, such as the Digital Market Act (DMA), the Digital Service Act (DSA), and the Data Act.

Padova began his career as an administrator at the French National Assembly, where he focused on personal data law and criminal law. Subsequently, he served as Secretary General of the CNIL, France’s data protection authority. Notably, he built the enforcement and technological capacities of the CNIL and was involved in the early negotiation of the GDPR at the EU level.

Padova then went into private practice as senior counsel at Baker McKenzie in Paris before being appointed by the President of the French National Assembly as Commissioner with the Energy Regulation Commission. He rejoined Baker McKenzie in 2017 as a partner in that firm’s IT Group, leading the data protection practice in France until his arrival at Wilson Sonsini. From 2016 to 2019, Padova was named “strategic advisor” by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)—the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law—on the interplay between innovation and regulation, and took part in the design of its privacy “sandbox” initiative. In 2019, he was appointed “country leader” for France by the IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals).

In private practice, Padova has focused on enforcement and sanction proceedings at the pan-European level and in France, in particular on complex cases involving cross-border processing and multinational companies. He also advises companies on cybersecurity issues and internal investigations. His practice has centered on finding innovative solutions for the novel regulatory responses that companies face.

“Yann is an internationally recognized expert, and his extensive experience is highly relevant to our firm’s privacy and cybersecurity clients in Europe, especially with respect to regulatory investigation matters,” said Cédric Burton, a partner at Wilson Sonsini and co-leader of the firm’s global privacy and cybersecurity practice. “Yann’s addition fortifies our resources for companies faced with complex enforcement and investigatory initiatives, and comes at a critical time of increased GDPR enforcement, along with the looming threat of the new EU Digital Acts. We are delighted to welcome him to our team.”

Wilson Sonsini's privacy and cybersecurity practice is consistently recognized by well-known authorities such as Global Data Review’s “20 Elite,” Law360, Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, and Legal 500.

“I am very excited to join Wilson Sonsini,” Padova said. “The firm has an impressive roster of talent and many former regulators that works with the most innovative clients worldwide. This is a great opportunity to be part of a leading, highly regarded team addressing important issues around the globe.”

Padova earned a master’s degree in Advanced Public Law from the University of Toulouse, as well as a master’s degree in economics and a diploma from Sciences Po Paris. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from the Université Paris IV Paris-Sorbonne.

For more information, please read the press release.

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