Helen Davenport has over 20 years' experience as a technology and data lawyer, principally advising on contentious data protection and cyber security matters and as a commercial litigator, representing technology providers and customers in disputes arising from all sorts of contracts for IT systems, services and/or software licencing.
Helen is a partner, based in Gowling WLG's Birmingham and London offices, and a member of the firm's Commercial Litigation team and Dispute Resolution Group. She co leads our Data Protection practice for the UK firm.
She is a core member of the firm's Tech sector team given her experience of technology agreements and data protection and also with a keen interest in new and evolving technologies. In particular, Helen has a growing practice dealing with FinTech matters, including contract disputes in this area and other litigation arising out of cryptoassets and blockchain technologies.
Helen's experience also encompasses contract disputes in the energy sector, often arising out of technology and data aspects. She is also experienced in other governance and compliance matters, having led corporate investigations, handled fraud and/or bribery related cases and assisted a wide range of clients with putting in place policies and procedures to combat bribery and help provide a defence to the corporate offence under the Bribery Act 2010. Helen also has Higher Rights of Audience (Civil & Criminal).
Helen is a Certified Information Privacy Professional - Europe (CIPP/E) and is a frequent speaker on data privacy and cyber security, in particular, at client events and third party conferences, and has written many articles and has been quoted in a range of legal and industry publications on these topics. She is a member of the International Technology Law Association, the Society for Computers and Law and IAPP.
Helen is highly regarded for her dedication to achieving her clients' objectives, commitment to client service and her ability to get to grips quickly with the most complex of matters. Client feedback includes: "Across the detail" "Knowledgeable, very strategic, yet down to earth."
Data privacy and cyber security
- Data breach and cyber incident response planning, including drafting incident response plans, and breach coaching.
- Helping various clients respond to personal data security breaches and cyber incidents (pre and post GDPR), including international data breaches.
- Assisting clients handle significant/complex data subject access requests (SARs), including advising on methodologies for handling unstructured data and the application of exemptions from data subject access rights.
- Advising on cyber security, including on the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Directive and NIS Regulations and coordinating an international project in this area.
- Data privacy litigation, including cases arising out of hacking incidents, breaches of confidence, disputes between data controllers and data processors and alleged breaches of data protection legislation and misuse of private information.
Technology and outsourcing dispute resolution
- Advising clients on managing risks and change management arising out of technology agreements (including the drafting of change notes, contract variations and exit plans).
- Leading teams handling substantial litigation for major corporates and public sector organisations, working with Counsel, experts and managing budgets. For example, leading a team acting for a global telecoms provider in multi-million pound litigation with one of its business partners.
- Resolving matters through various other means of dispute resolution, including escalation, mediation and arbitration. For example, leading the team advising a global IT consultancy in a multi-million dispute, which settled at mediation.
- Advising on numerous software licensing cases, including disputes arising out of software licensing audits/software over-deployment claims and on the interpretation of software licence agreements. Helen's experience in this area also includes giving expert evidence on the relevant English law for the purposes of foreign proceedings in the United States, including being deposed in those proceedings.
Corporate investigations and anti-bribery
- Advising numerous clients, in a range of sectors, on putting in place measures to combat anti-bribery and corruption and to provide a defence to the corporate offence under the Bribery Act 2010. Also investigating and pursuing bribery issues where they have arisen.
- Investigating allegations of fraud, conspiracy and breach of duty by individuals at a not for profit regulated organisation. This investigation was carried out under scrutiny of the regulator.
- Recovering £2 million for a publisher following a fraud investigation into online trading by a senior employee.
- Investigating, with colleagues in our Munich office, a possible fraud, alleged by a whistleblower to have taken place at its German subsidiary of a US headquartered client.