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Portrait of Tom De Cordier

Tom De Cordier

Partner

CMS DeBacker
Chaussée de La Hulpe 178
1170 Brussels
Belgium
Languages Dutch, French, English

Tom is a seasoned technology lawyer with a strong focus on data privacy law, technology, media and communications law, technology-related IP and life sciences. Clients praise him for his commercial acumen and his pragmatic and down-to-earth style. 

His practice covers a wide range of advisory, transactional and litigation work in international and domestic matters relating to data privacy, TMC and life sciences. Tom has experience in:

  • Data protection - Tom regularly assists clients in domestic and multi-jurisdictional privacy compliance projects. He advises clients on all aspects of data protection compliance, including data protection policies and procedures, the use of data in the provision of consumer and business products, big data, responding to data subject access requests, cross-border data transfers, cloud computing, data security breaches, transfers of data to regulators, data privacy in life sciences, the use of data in customer relationship management systems and processes, employee monitoring and website compliance issues, BYOD, whistleblowing hotlines, fintech, data privacy litigation, etc.
  • IT transactions including IT sourcing projects; cloud projects; digital transformation projects; etc.
  • IT advisory work (eg. advising on legal aspects of digital disruption, e-archiving, electronic signatures, etc.)
  • Legal aspects of e-commerce (eg. advising on how to ensure that websites comply with e-commerce laws and regulations; drafting or reviewing website policies, online privacy policies; etc.)
  • Network & information security (eg. advising clients on cyber security requirements and risks; etc.)
  • Telecom & media regulatory matters including pre-contentious and contentious regulatory work (eg. assisting telecoms clients in their dealings with the regulatory authorities; representing clients in court proceedings regarding telecoms regulatory disputes; etc.)
  • IP transactional work (eg. drafting and negotiating cross-border patent & know-how license agreements; drafting and negotiating complex R&D agreements; drafting and negotiating IP assignment agreements; drafting and negotiating IP reps & warranties; etc.)

Tom is perfectly trilingual.

Tom is ranked tier 1 in Legal 500’s latest shortlist of leading practitioners in EU data protection. Chambers Europe ranks Tom as “Up and coming” in the category Technology, Media & Telecommunications in Belgium. Corporate International Magazine recently recommended Tom as “rising star of the year in Belgium” for telecommunications law.

Tom frequently speaks at conferences and seminars on technology-related and privacy-related topics. He is also frequently asked by the international press to share his views on recent trends and developments in this area. Recent examples include: 

  • Financial Times (13 September 2020): Data privacy expert, Tom De Cordier comments in Financial Times on the concerns of EU companies seeking guidance on data transfers to the US after the recent ECJ ruling on the Privacy Shield. Read more here
  • SC Media (17 August 2020): Data protection expert, Tom De Cordier, discusses the challenge businesses face after the recent invalidation of the Privacy Shield. Read more here 
  • Euractive Digital Brief (25 June 2020): Tom has been quoted in the Euractive Digital Brief:'To GDPR or not?', about the review of the application of the GDPR across the EU. Read more here 
  • Computer Weekly (24 June 2020): data privacy expert, Tom De Cordier, comments on the effectiveness of the GDPR and on the role of technology in economic revival. Read more here
  • Bloomberg (2 June 2020): "Tech That Saves EU Firms From Covid-19 Could Kill Them in Court". Read more here
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"deep expertise of both telecommunications and data protection laws".

Feedback from a client - Chambers Europe, 2021

"Practice head Tom De Cordier is 'like a rock in any storm, knowledgeable and responsive and with a good business acumen'."

Feedback from a client - Legal 500, 2021

"Tom De Cordier’s strengths are in-depth knowledge about data protection laws as well as data security measures, commercial awareness, responsiveness, value for money, and excellent liaison skills in handling global data protection matters."

Feedback from a client - Legal 500, 2021

"Tom has a wide practice assisting clients with data protection compliance and domain name issues. He is described by pleased clients as a 'very pragmatic and dedicated lawyer,' who is 'a great person to work with.'"

Chambers Europe, 2020

"Practice head Tom De Cordier is 'knowledgeable' and 'always fast to respond'."

Legal 500, 2020

"Tom DeCordier is the lynchpin to the regulatory team that advises our company and provides exceptional advice in a practical and savvy yet highly ethical manner."

Feedback from a client - Legal 500, 2020

Relevant experience

  • From 2012 until 2014 Tom was a member of the European Advisory Board of the IAPP (the International Association of Privacy Professionals)
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Publications

  • « EU Advocate-General opinion hints Europe’s top court is unlikely to disrupt international data flows in pending decision », Tom De Cordier, Thomas Dubuisson and Janick Van Daele, 17 July 2020. 
  • «Deadline approaching for notifying CCTV cameras to Belgian police», Tom De Cordier and Thomas Dubuisson, 14 May 2020
  • « EU Cybersecurity Month: When a simple phishing click can severely harm your company », Tom De Cordier and Thomas Dubuisson, 10 October 2019
  • « Time to update your cookie consent and policy! CJEU says pre-ticked checkboxes are not valid », Tom De Cordier and Thomas Dubuisson, 2 October 2019
  • « Using social plug-ins on your website? You and the social network will be jointly liable for the data processing », Tom De Cordier and Thomas Dubuisson, 31 July 2019
  • « First Belgian GDPR sanction: DPA fines mayor EUR 2,000 », Tom De Cordier and Thomas Dubuisson, 31 May 2019
  • « EU Advocate General gives Internet cookie opinion that could impact data privacy regs », Tom De Cordier and Thomas Dubuisson, 2 April 2019
  • « Belgium's privacy watchdog publishes guidance on the notions of controller and processor », Tom De Cordier, Thomas Dubuisson and Anne-Marie Goris, 17 January 2019
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Lectures list

  • Webinar : 26 May 2020, Tom De Cordier, Deven Dobbelaere and Florent Dubois: “Smart Contracts: From Clauses to Code”. 
  • Webinar : 11 June 2020, Tom De Cordier, Jane Challoner “CMS Webinar: Digitalisation of the in-House legal team…and what it means for you”. 
  • Webinar : 9 September 2020, Tom De Cordier, Stijn Viaene and Philippe Coffyn : “Law and Beyond - Digital Transformation: seizing the opportunity whilst avoiding the pitfalls”
  • Webinar : 27 October 2020, Tom De Cordier and Anne-Sophie Coppens : “Joint CMS-Marsh webinar : “The Changing Face of Cyber Claims “
  • Webinar : 25 November 2020, Tom De Cordier “Data, Data, Data“.
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Education

  • 1999 - University of Ghent, UGent (Master in law, 1999)
  • 2000 - University of London (LL.M. in Computers & Communications)
  • 2000 - Bar admission (Brussels, Belgium)
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