I work at the interface of law and technology, with expertise in data protection, privacy, intellectual property, internet governance, regulation and business law. Currently, my main focus is data – the digital stuff of life – and mechanisms for its control, transfer and analysis. I also maintain a strong research interest in patent law, with a number of publications in progress building on my PhD.
At the University of Cambridge, I am a legal researcher on two pioneering tech-law projects, on a cross-appointment between the Faculty of Law and the Computer Laboratory. The principal project is the Cambridge Cybercrime Centre, which aims to redefine data sharing between industry and cybercrime researchers, setting best-practice standards in privacy, security, analytics and ethics. The second is Managing EveryThing, an impact-acceleration project on data control for ubiquitous computing environments (the ‘Internet of Things’), focusing particularly on the cultural sector, in association with a number of leading British institutions.
In addition to my work on data law and policy, I have nearly a decade of experience in intellectual property law. My PhD at the University of Cambridge concerned the inventive concept in patent law. This built on my broader expertise in intellectual property developed in private practice at Minter Ellison Lawyers, during my master’s degree at the University of Oxford, and as speechwriter for the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.
I hold undergraduate honours degrees in law from the University of Western Australia and science from the Australian National University. I have worked on scientific research projects in medical genetics, environmental risk, biophysics and plant physiology, and I clerked for Justice Garry Downes AM when he was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and President of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The latter position involved work on administrative law, intellectual property and national security.
I am an Associate Research Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. I am on the Steering Committee of the Ethics of Big Data Research Group and a member of the Ethics Advisory Board of the BBC/Deutsche Welle SUMMA Consortium.
Within Cambridge, I am active in many centres and interdisciplinary initiatives, including the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law, the Centre for Business Research, the Centre for Law, Medicine and the Life Sciences, OpenPlant, the Technology and Democracy project, the Centre for Science and Policy, Cambridge Big Data, and the Public Policy Strategic Research Initiative. I am a proud member of St John’s College.
I am a firm believer in the importance of public engagement with research and in enabling access to the law for non-experts. One way of doing this is by exploring complex ideas in popular media. I have written extensively for the Guardian, where I was until recently a contributing editor and policy fellow and remain as a columnist on technology law and policy, as well as for Wired, Slate and IoN. In addition, I have a long-term project, Law Comics, to reinterpret iconic legal cases in graphic novel format.
CV / Biography
Doctor of Philosophy in Law, University of Cambridge (2016)
Bachelor of Civil Law (master's degree), University of Oxford (2009)
Bachelor of Law (Hons), University of Western Australia (2006)
Bachelor of Science (Hons), Australian National University (2004)
Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Skills and Ethics, Griffith University (2008)
Admitted to practice in New South Wales and the High Court of Australia (2008)
Contributing Editor and Policy Fellow, Guardian News & Media Group (2015)
Speechwriter for the Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (2010-11)
Graduate Lawyer, Minter Ellison Lawyers (2008)
Sessional Lecturer, University of New South Wales (2008)
Judicial Associate to the President, Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and Federal Court of Australia (2007)
LLM Intellectual Property, LLM International Intellectual Property (Faculty of Law, Cambridge)
Law and Science (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge)
Administrative Law (Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales)
Studentship to the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (2012)
Cambridge Poynton Australia Scholarship to the University of Cambridge (2011-14)
Commonwealth Scholarship to the United Kingdom (2008-09)