About me

I have been active in EU and global data protection law since the 1990s as a lawyer, author, and academic. I am currently Affiliate Professor at the University of Copenhagen and Senior Privacy Counsel in the Brussels office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and an associate in the Centre for European Legal Studies of the University of Cambridge. I am a member of the European Commission Multisectoral Stakeholder Expert Group to Support the Application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR). I am also one of three editors of the article-by-article commentary on the GDPR tIhat was published by Oxford University Press in 2020. As of March 2023 I became a Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum.

From January-April 2019 I was a visiting fellow in the Department of Law of the European University Insitute in Florence. In July 2016 I taught a specialized course at the summer school on the law of the European Union of the Academy of European Law at the European University Institute in Florence. The text of the course was published in 2019 as “The Internet and the Global Reach of EU Law” in the volume EU Law beyond EU Borders edited by Marise Cremona and Joanne Scott and published by Oxford University Press.

In July 2015 I taught a special course in the private international law section of the summer school of the Hague Academy of International Law together with Daniel Cooper. The course has been published as “Data Protection Law and International Dispute Resolution” in volume 382 of the Recueil des Cours/Collected Courses of the Hague Academy (see the bibliography of my writings on this web site for the full citation).

In June 2015 i was awarded the "Best Consumer Supporter" award and medal by the Consumer Affairs Agency of the government of Japan. The award is given for services to Japanese consumers, and I was chosen because of my expertise in data protection law and my promotion of EU data protection law in Japan. On June 26, the Japanese Ambassador to the European Union, His Excellency Keiichi Katakami, presented a medal to me in recognition of the award. Further Information can be found at http://www.vub.ac.be/en/nieuws/2015/07/03/prof-christopher-kuner-receives-japanese-award-contributions-consumer-protection and https://privacyassociation.org/news/a/privacy-pro-named-japans-best-consumer-supporter/. See photo of the medal on the home page. In November 2017 and November 2022 I was also a Visiting Professor at Chuo University Law School in Tokyo.

I previously founded and led the European data protection practice at Hunton & Williams in Brussels, and also worked at the law firms of Morrison & Foerster (Brussels) and Gleiss Lutz (Stuttgart and Frankfurt). Between 2014 and May 2023 I was also Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Brussels Privacy Hub at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

I have published several books on legal topics with leading academic publishers and dozens of articles in top law journals, many of them dealing with data protection law, legal topics related to the Internet, and EU law; a complete bibliography is available on this site.

I founded and am editor-in-chief of the law journal 'International Data Privacy Law' published by Oxford University Press.

I was chair for ten years of the Task Force on Privacy and the Protection of Personal Data of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). I also founded and led the European Privacy Officers Forum (EPOF).

I have been active in international organizations such as the Counci of Europe, the OECD, and UNCITRAL. I was a member of the Experts Group on the retention of electronic communications data set up by DG Home Affairs of the European Commission.

I hold a PhD in law from Tilburg University (the Netherlands), an LL.M. from New York University (NYU), a US law degree (J.D.) from Notre Dame Law School, and a B.A. from Lawrence University. I have been a visiting fellow at the Centre for International Legal Studies and at Wolfson College of the University of Cambridge, and at the Oxford Internet Institute.

In June 2010 I was awarded the Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing of the Burton Foundation for my article "Onward Transfer of Personal Data Under the U.S. Safe Harbor Framework," Bloomberg BNA's Privacy & Security Law Report, August 17, 2009.

In 2018 Chambers Belgium described me as follows: “Senior privacy counsel Christopher Kuner is vastly experienced in the field of European data privacy and is considered an authority on international data transfers. One impressed commentator calls Kuner "by far the best thought leader in Europe and a reference for privacy and data protection." The 2011 edition of Chambers Europe had this to say about me: "'Superb' data protection and compliance expert Christopher Kuner…wins rave reviews from clients, who report that 'he is very clear and concise, always on time, and has great expertise in this area' as well as having 'great connections with the European authorities, acute commercial awareness and excellent multilingual skills.' Sources summarise that 'he is one of the best data protection lawyers in the world.'"

Among the other bodies of which I am a member include the Advisory Board of BNA's Privacy and Security Law Report; the editorial board of the German legal journal "Multimedia und Recht" (Verlag C.H. Beck); the academic advisory board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Datenschutz und Datensicherheit (German Society for Data Protection and Data Security); and the editorial board go the International Journal of Law and Information Technology (Oxford University Press).

I am also a member of the B-List of the Brussels Bar, and of the New York Bar. I am fluent in English and German, and speak intermediate-level Russian.

In my free time I enjoy playing the classical violin, and studying the Russian language. I play a reproduction of a Venetian violin by Matteo Gofriller, made for me by Gerlinde Reutterer of Vienna.

© Christopher Kuner 2014