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UK-US Bilateral Data Sharing Agreement: what companies need to know

BCL Solicitors LLP


Although concluded as long ago as October 2019 between UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and US Attorney General William Barr, the end of October 2020 should bring the commencement of the US-UK Bilateral Data Sharing Agreement. Heralded as a breakthrough to ensure the timely supply of electronic data essential for law enforcement investigations, its purpose is to remove inordinate delay that following the requirements of mutual legal assistance made necessary.

This has required changes to US law through the CLOUD Act and UK law through the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act 2019. But how will the agreement work and what will this mean for the holders and processors of data from whom data will be demanded?

During this webinar we will address (with emphasis on requests from the UK authorities given this is the likely direction of most demands):

  • the origins of the agreement;
  • its breadth and limitations, and how it relates to underlying US and UK law requirements: the agreement permits process wider than hitherto recognised;
  • how it is likely to operate practically;
  • what is expected of the data holder/processor; and
  • what the data holder can and needs to do to:
    • protect its own interests and those of its clients, and
    • act consistently with the law and especially comply with wider data protection obligations.



Michael Drury
BCL Solicitors LLP

Michael Drury’s expertise in data collection and surveillance matters by state entities is unparalleled in the United Kingdom. As a former director of legal affairs at GCHQ, the largest of the UK’s security and intelligence agencies, for 14 years; founder member of the Serious Fraud Office; and for the last 10 years a partner in BCL providing advice on national security and criminal investigations to both corporate and individual clients, his breadth of experience both in terms of developing legislation (particularly the Regulatory Investigatory Powers Act as the forerunner to the current Investigatory Powers Act 2016) and practical casework gives him unique insights into how the law has developed and the practical consequences that follow. He has already provided advice on the US-UK Bilateral Data Sharing Agreement due to commence this autumn and brings his breadth of knowledge to bear on what is a new departure in a field that is inherently controversial.         


Julian Hayes
BCL Solicitors LLP

Julian Hayes advises companies and individuals in the rapidly developing field of data protection, especially in the context of data breaches and law enforcement investigations, where necessary litigating to ensure that the actions of state authorities are properly constrained. A partner at BCL for three years, he has vast experience of all types of criminal inquiries, including the unlawful obtaining of data and computer misuse offences. He is well-known and highly regarded commentator on cybersecurity and privacy issues. He advises telecommunications operators on their obligations under UK investigatory powers legislation and provides practical guidance on how to handle demands placed upon them, including in establishing systems that work to ensure legal compliance and protection for the operator.



Michael Drury
Julian Hayes


20 October 2020
15:00 - 15:55 UTC
55 min