Patrick Van Eecke

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I guide the leading companies of today and tomorrow, through complex global regulatory landscapes, ensuring their businesses are as successful as possible.

About Patrick

Patrick co-chairs Cooley’s global cyber/data/privacy practice. Patrick has more than 30 years of experience guiding clients on complex issues spanning data protection, cyber, electronic commerce, digital advertising and electronic signatures. He advises startups, scaleups and multinationals in diverse industry sectors, from technology and life sciences to communications, entertainment, retail and consumer products. He also has significant experience representing telecommunications companies, internet service providers, software developers, governments and companies using IT-related services. In addition, Patrick is involved in diverse consulting projects for the European Commission, national governments and multinational global corporations.

Prior to joining Cooley, Patrick was the co-chair of a global top 10 firm’s data privacy and cybersecurity practice. For several years, he has been consistently recognized as a Band 1 and Tier 1 data protection and cyber authority by Chambers and The Legal 500 Belgium, respectively. Patrick is a regular speaker at national and international conferences, and he often is asked to comment on internet and cyber law-related issues in the press.

Patrick’s notable experience includes:

  • Ecommerce – Successfully representing a social networking platform at the European Court of Justice in a dispute on the liability exception rules for information society service providers established by the European Union’s Electronic Commerce Directive
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) – Advising a European financial service provider on the introduction of a personal digital assistant based on AI in the customer journey life cycle
  • Cyber – Assisting multiple organisations on data-related incidents, including the assessment of the severity of the data breach, notifications to the relevant authorities and representing the client towards relevant parties
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) litigation – Representing multiple companies in their proceedings before a data protection authority for allegedly having infringed GDPR-related obligations
  • Binding corporate rules (BCRs) – Guiding a multinational organization through the procedure of applying for BCRs, including internal assessment of BCR compliance
  • Ecommerce – Assisting a US clothes manufacturer on setting up an online sales platform throughout the EU in line with applicable laws and rules
  • Gaming and betting – Assisting online sports betting and online casino gaming operators when entering the European gaming market
  • Code of conduct – Drafting a GDPR code of conduct for an international association of academic institutions allowing them to exchange user credentials throughout the EU, including data transfers to third countries
  • GDPR compliance – Assisting 200+ organizations on preparing them for GDPR compliance, including gap analysis, remediation by drafting policies, contractual documents and other relevant materials
  • Cloud computing – Advising the European Commission on the legal implications of cloud computing in the 28 EU member states and leading a cross-border team of 30 lawyers analyzing the impact of cloud computing on the current European legal system and analyzing the need for regulatory change
  • Sanctions – Advising one of the world’s largest financial services providers on setting up a data protection compliant structure for verifying customer details and payments against numerous sanctions lists (for example, known terrorists, drugs traffickers, etc.)
  • Electronic signatures – Advising the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on legal aspects of electronic signatures to draft a new model law on the cross-border use of e-signatures
  • Technology transfer – Advising the European Commission on changing the regulatory landscape of technology transfer and leading a team of 35 lawyers in the EU, US and Japan analyzing how to improve the regulatory environment for R&D in Europe
  • GDPR – Advising a US software company with local branches in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom on setting up a legally compliant data processing system for human resources (HR) and customer relationship management (CRM) data
  • Electronic payments – Advising a European mobile phone operator on the implementation of a mobile payment system and determining whether the e-payment system would fall under the scope of European e-money legislation (and thus oblige the operator to set up a new legal entity)

Patrick also is a professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, where he teaches European information and communications law, and he is a frequent guest lecturer on internet law at other universities.

Patrick is fluent in Dutch, English and French.


Harvard Business School
Leadership for Professional Services Firms, 2013

KU Leuven
PhD, 2003, Law

Stanford University
Law faculty research fellow, 2001

Universität Trier
LLM, 1993

KU Leuven
Lic. lur. Law, 1992

Rankings & accolades

Best Lawyers Belgium: Lawyer of the Year – Information Technology Law

Chambers Europe: TMT: Data protection – Band 1

Legal 500 Belgium: EU Regulatory: Privacy and data protection – Tier 1 & Leading Individual

Chambers Belgium: Fintech – Legal – Band 2

Legal 500 Belgium: EU Regulatory: Information Technology – Tier 1

Legal 500 Belgium: Fintech – Tier 1

Listed as Acritas Star™ Lawyer since 2017

Memberships & affiliations

Brussels Bar

International Bar Association

Editorial Committee: Computerrecht, Kluwer, Netherlands

Editorial or Professional Board of Computer Law & Security Review (CLSR), Elsevier, United Kingdom

Editorial Committee: Revue du Droit Commercial (RDC), Larcier, Belgium

Editorial Committee: Journal of Internet Law, Aspen/Wolters Kluwer, United States