Meet the OGCs: Virginia Fournier
Virginia Fournier is a seasoned business attorney with over 25 years of in-house counsel experience in the tech industry. As an OGC, she handles a wide range of legal matters for her clients, with a particular focus on technology transactions, IP, and privacy issues. Virginia credits her years spent in-house with fostering a practical approach to how she counsels clients. For example, when discussing complicated legal issues, Virginia knows how to speak the language of her client (e.g., technology, product development, sales, marketing). This business acumen is what sets an OGC apart from other attorneys.
While Virginia’s career has evolved over time, like many do, one thing that hasn’t changed is her preference for handling complex – or in her words, “ugly” – transactions that will challenge her problem solving skills. One transaction that stands out for Virginia is an acquisition she handled while in-house with a software engineering company. The company was attempting to acquire a business unit of a major telecommunications company, including its technology, IP rights, and personnel. There were many moving parts and new – sometimes gnarly – issues popping up on a regular basis, which kept things interesting.
This affinity for new challenges is what led Virginia to tackle the ever-changing area of data privacy law. In fact, since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in 2018, there has been a proliferation of new privacy laws passed across the globe, as well as here in the U.S. Virginia has followed these developments with keen interest and is particularly fascinated by the legal issues that have emerged where data privacy law and technology intersect.
Helping clients navigate the myriad of privacy laws is in many ways like solving a puzzle, starting with the questions of applicability (which laws actually apply), followed by an analysis of the requirements and the compliance steps, and finally, designing policies and processes to support their compliance efforts. With steep consequences for non-compliance embedded in most laws, her clients’ relief is often palpable once Virginia has answered their questions and explained the legal requirements in a way they can understand.
More about Virginia Fournier
In addition to advising clients, Virginia is an active contributor to the firm’s Blog, On-Demand Insights. The recent proliferation of new state consumer privacy laws has kept Virginia quite busy; this year alone, she has written about 7 new laws. Virginia is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) in the U.S. and Europe and a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), and regularly attends industry conferences on this dynamic, ever-changing area of the law.
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