EU Data Protection reforms – the time to act is now, says Ogier Counsel

The head of Ogier's Employment Law team says that the preparation for sweeping legal changes under the EU GDPR regime promises to be a major work theme for 2017.

Michael Little, who leads the employment team across Jersey and Guernsey, was promoted to the new role of Counsel at the start of this month.

Michael is a former policeman who requalified as a Solicitor in 1994 in the UK before coming to Ogier in 1998. He is also HR qualified, and spent five years as Ogier's Group HR Director before returning to the employment law team in 2008.

He is part of a specialist data-focused Ogier team led by partner Sara Johns from the Corporate and Commercial Law group that is advising clients on the implications of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how they need to update policies and systems to prepare for the law's implementation in May 2018.

Michael said: "The development of employment legislation in the Channel Islands and the more recent introduction of the discrimination law in Jersey means that there is a growing amount of work on both the contentious and non-contentious elements of employment law practice.

"Data issues, too, are now forming a greater part of  our work as a team, not only from an employment perspective but also more widely.

"In particular we are also advising clients on the implications of the GDPR – with just over a year to go it is clear that businesses still have substantial work to do to get their affairs in order.

"With the new consent regime, the requirement for appropriately qualified Data Protection officers and enhanced notification of data breaches, the new law represents a significant change – any firms who have yet to fully engage with the GDPR should be doing so as a matter of some urgency."

In the most recent Chambers and Partners Guide for 2017, Michael was praised in client feedback for his "responsive and supportive" manner and his "commercial awareness".