Francine Cunningham

Regulatory & Public Affairs Director

As the Regulatory & Public Affairs Director, I lead our Regulatory and Public Affairs practice in Brussels at a time of huge legislative challenges that will define the future of the digital economy. Working at the intersection of politics, bureaucracy and business reality, I advise our clients how to navigate complex EU decision-making processes to achieve specific industry goals.

With 20 years' experience of working in the EU and US regulatory environment, in both the private and public sectors, I have extensive knowledge of issues impacting the technology, media and communications sectors.

By closely monitoring the evolution and potential impact of regulatory proposals on your sector, I can develop and implement an effective EU engagement plan for your organisation. My active support will help to ensure that decisions affecting your business are not taken without your voice being heard.

My expertise ranges from helping to place issues proactively on the legislative agenda, to providing support and strategic advice based on profound regulatory knowledge and a thorough understanding of public policy and decision-making procedures.

I joined Bird & Bird in 2018 from the US Mission to the European Union, where I worked as a senior intellectual property specialist within the US Commerce Department (USPTO). I previously held positions in public affairs and communications for the international recording industry and news media publishing.

In addition to my native English, I have a knowledge of French and Dutch.

  • Assisting a Silicon Valley online mobile payments and identity verification company in their contacts with relevant decision-makers in the US Mission to EU and EU institutions regarding data protection.
  • Offering insights to an American multinational corporation regarding the likely form and potential impact of a new EU copyright exceptions.
  • Advising Ahlstrom-Munksjö Oyj, which provides fibre-based products, operating in Europe, North and South America, on an EU Implementing Act, as well as points of exposure regarding trade, customs and contracts in the countdown to Brexit.
  • Advising a large French consortium that produces domestic appliances with respect to issues around an EU Delegated Act.
  • KU Leuven, LLM in Intellectual Property & ICT Law
  • King's College London, Master of Arts, UK, EU and US Copyright Law
  • Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, EU Fulbright Scholarship