Bird & Bird hosts successful 'The future of Tech & Comms' conference in The Hague


For the first time, 'The future of Tech & Comms' conference took place on 2 March, 2016 at Spaces Rode Olifant in The Hague. Bird & Bird's legal specialists from across the offices in Europe and Asia joined the Dutch team for an informative afternoon of presentations and workshops.

Around 100 directors and senior officers from various national and international organisations were present to learn more about the future of Tech & Comms and to discuss  whether the future = Tech & Comms.

Several topics were covered, such as:

  • Digital Business
  • Data Protection and Cyber Security
  • Over-The-Top Services (OTT)
  • Capturing the value from Tech & IP assets

The programme was kicked off with a keynote presentation from The Hague Partner Marjolein Geus and London Partner Ronald Hendrikx. Following European Commission President Juncker's announcement of the European Digital Single Market (please click here for the video), the partners discussed the challenges for users, industry and regulators in a fast-changing technology landscape, how to bring connectivity to a new level with regard to industries and sectors and how the future of Tech & Comms will play out in the Netherlands.

The event was then split into several breakout sessions, with the first round covering Digital Business and Data Protection & Cyber Security.

During the Digital Business session, partners Roelien van Neck (The Hague) and Roger Bickerstaff (London) highlighted and discussed some key points for digital businesses which related to the European Commission's strategy for the EU's digital economy and various draft legislative proposals.

The other breakout session was led by Counsel Frank Simons (The Hague) and Partner James Mullock (London). Both speakers invited the delegates to an open discussion on the future regulatory landscape and the practical steps organisations should prioritise to adapt to the current and upcoming changes in the data protection and cyber security landscape.

After the break, two more breakout sessions were held. Michelle Chan (Partner, China and Hong Kong), Paul Waszink (Associate, The Hague) and Sven-Erik Heun (Partner, Germany) provided the delegates with a multi-jurisdictional insight into the most relevant legal aspects for Over-The-Top-Services, from both an EU law (present and future) and Asia-Pacific legal point of view.

From another perspective, partners Wouter Pors (The Hague) and Rob Williams (London) showcased how to capture the real value and exclusivity of IP and know-how assets and how best to protect your trade secrets.

After the final breakout sessions, the delegates had the opportunity to network and discuss the presentations.

The event's organisers Marjolein Geus and Ronald Hendrikx were very happy with the turnout. They commented:"The event exceeded all our expectations in terms of the level and seniority of client engagement, with very positive comments about the breadth and depth of the workshops and the seamless international approach we showcased." 

One participant said: "Very informative, with both the regulation and examples of different countries + nice to meet people from the digital industry."

Another participant commented: "Great info, clearly presented. You delivered."

For more information, please contact Marjolein Geus and Ronald Hendrikx