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Susan L. Foster, Ph.D.

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[email protected]

+44.20.3868.6416

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Sue is a commercial lawyer with extensive experience advising clients regarding EU privacy regulations as well as life sciences and technology transactions. Sue is based in the UK, and her work is frequently international in nature. Sue is qualified in England & Wales and California, as well as being a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe. Start-ups to global companies seek her counsel on European data protection matters. For her life sciences clients, she helps structure large-scale drug development and marketing collaborations, licensing deals, spin-offs, and other agreements involving healthcare IT, consulting, R&D, manufacturing, and distribution arrangements.

Susan is qualified in England and Wales as well as California, and has experience practicing law in both the United States and the United Kingdom. She has been based in Mintz's London office since September 2007, and worked in the United Kingdom for another international law firm from 2001 to 2004. Susan is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E).

Susan works with clients primarily on European data protection compliance and licensing, collaborations, and commercial matters in the fields of clean tech, high tech, mobile media, and life sciences. She has represented a broad range of clients, from start-up companies to international industry leaders, and has significant experience with cross-border transactions.

Within the life sciences, Susan has assisted biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and medical device companies with licenses, collaborations, spin-offs, and agreements relating to consulting services, R&D, manufacturing, and distribution.

Within the high-tech and mobile media fields, Susan has advised clients on deals involving the sale and licensing of intellectual property rights; multi-tier distribution arrangements; OEM and value-added reseller arrangements; research, development, and consulting activities; and the provision and outsourcing of technology services. She has assisted mobile media and Internet services clients with service agreements and content licenses, including user-generated content and web-to-mobile deals.

Susan’s clean tech experience includes advising on a joint venture for the development and marketing of electric cars and various agreements relating to the development and sale of fuel cells.

She has spoken on data protection, open source software, European antitrust and technology transfer law, and other intellectual property and technology law issues at a number of webinars and conferences in the United States and the United Kingdom.

During law school, Susan was on the executive board for the Stanford Technology Law Review.

Education

  • Stanford University (JD)
  • Cornell University (PhD)
  • Cornell University (MA)
  • Princeton University (BA)

Recognition & Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa

Recent Insights

News & Press

Viewpoints

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Organizations that use the European Union’s Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) to govern their transfers of personal data from the European Economic Area (EEA) to other countries should have September 27, 2021 circled in red in their calendars (or the virtual equivalent).
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News Roundup

August 27, 2021 | Blog | By Susan Foster

The United Kingdom has been busy in the past couple of weeks starting to chart its independent course on data protection and privacy matters. Here’s a quick round-up of the some interesting and important developments.
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Many organizations around the world – and particularly companies in the United States – are directly affected by the EU Court of Justice’s July 2020 Schrems II decision casting doubt on the lawfulness of transferring personal data from the EU to countries where national security laws might permit authorities to gain access to the personal data.  (The Schrems II decision is discussed below; click here for a longer discussion of the case.)  The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has just published the final form of its guidance as to what it expects organizations to do to assess risks and bolster protections for transfers of personal data.
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The new standard agreement for service providers (which we’ll refer to as the Controller-Processor SCCs) adopted by the European Commission on June 4th was understandably a bit overshadowed by the release on the same date of the Standard Contractual Clauses for data transfers.  But the new Controller-Processor SCCs, which organizations can use with their service providers to meet their GDPR Article 28 obligations, is another welcome addition to the EU’s small but growing library of standard documents. 
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This alert covers the European Commission’s updated Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs), the most commonly used legal mechanism for transferring personal data from the European Union to non-EEA countries
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The European Commission has adopted (at long last) an updated version of the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs), bringing this popular data transfer mechanism in line with the GDPR – and, we hope, the Schrems II decision.  The SCCs are the most commonly used legal mechanism for transferring personal data from the EEA to non-EEA countries (known as “third countries”), so the new SCCs are very big news for organizations that transfer or receive personal data from the EEA (that is, the European Union plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).
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In a solid step forward for EU to UK personal data transfers, the European Commission has published its draft adequacy decision that will (if finally adopted) permit personal data to flow freely from the EU to the UK.
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Watch this webinar by Cynthia Larose and Susan Foster as they explore the key US national security laws that need to be taken into account, how to evaluate whether those laws potentially affect the personal data in question, potential risk mitigation measures, and how European data exporters and US data importers can work together to address these issues.
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The new 1,246-page Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the United Kingdom and the European Union has ended the suspense over what restrictions will apply to the transfer of personal data between the EU and the UK now that the Brexit transition period has run its course.   As expected, the UK has chosen to allow UK personal data to be transferred to the EU freely on the basis that the EU’s GDPR provides adequate protection for the transferred data.  But the EU has not yet agreed that EU personal data can be transferred freely to the UK.  
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The European Commission has just published a consultation draft of the long-promised updated version of the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs).  The SCCs are the most commonly used legal mechanism for transferring personal data from the EEA to non-EEA countries (known as “third countries”).  In a nutshell, the new SCCs have finally caught up with the GDPR, which came into effect nearly two and a half years ago.  Once the Commission formally adopts the new SCCs, organizations will have a one-year grace period to transition from the old SCCs to the new SCCs.
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News & Press

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In an article published by Lexology, Mintz Member Susan L. Foster was quoted on how companies should assess their cybersecurity risk with the global increase in telework to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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Mintz Member Susan L. Foster was quoted in an article published by Lexology on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations for companies, particularly with respect to ongoing investigations or enforcement actions, as well as requirements for data sharing with other European Union data protection authorities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Member Sue Foster, part of the firm’s Privacy & Cybersecurity group, provides commentary in this feature article discussing the Privacy Shield data transfer mechanism which is facing a new, series test in the form of a second review from U.S. and European officials.
Susan Foster, a Member in the Mintz London office, primarily works with clients on European data protection compliance and licensing in the fields of clean tech, high tech, mobile media, and life sciences.
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Mintz advised biotechnology company BeiGene, Ltd. on a collaboration with Celgene Corporation to develop and commercialize BeiGene’s investigational anti-programmed cell death protein 1 inhibitor, BGB-A317.
This Law360 feature article focuses on a draft of Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications that would impose stricter privacy rules on electronic communications to tech companies outside the traditional telecom space.
Member Susan Foster provides commentary in this Compliance Week article on how the European Union data protection authorities adopted a final version of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (WP29).
This article notes that Europe’s privacy regulators are backing the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield data transfer deal. Authorities, according to the article, qualified that while they still carry some concerns about the framework, they will not challenge the Shield further for at least one year.
Member Susan Foster provides commentary in this article on how though fears of global market fallout resulting from the Brexit vote have largely gone unrealized, companies handling personal data are now facing similar concerns with regards to privacy regulation.
Member Sue Foster, a Certified Information Privacy Professional, provides commentary in this Business Insider article discussing the potential Brexit vote and the potential impact this could have on the European technology industry.
Member Sue Foster provides commentary in this The Hill article on the long-awaited Privacy Shield – a data-sharing deal between the United States and the European Union. The deal would allow tech companies to legally handle European citizens’ data.
Member Susan Foster provides commentary in this article on the Privacy Shield agreement between the United States and the European Union.
Member Susan Foster provides commentary in this article on how the transatlantic data exchange deal stands to be seriously threatened unless the U.S. “overhauls its national security laws.”
Member Susan Foster is quoted in this article on the upcoming deadline for the transatlantic Privacy Shield agreement, which will ensure the viability of data transfers between the U.S. and the European Union.
Member Susan Foster is quoted in this Law360 article on the importance for employers in the European Union to follow their surveillance policies and protocols carefully when monitoring their employees’ online activities.

Events

Speaker
Jun
24
2021

PrivSec Global 2021

What Do The New Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) Mean for Data Transfers Post-Schrems II?

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Jan
19
2018
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Jan
17
2018
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Nov
30
2017
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Nov
29
2017
Panelist
Nov
28
2017
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Jan
12
2017
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May
8
2016

Who Owns the IP? The Situation in the U.S.

Association of Corporate Counsel

Tel Aviv, Israel

Speaker