Mark Watts


Mark is a technology specialist with over 20 years’ experience. He advises companies on technology issues such as cloud computing, machine learning, apps and facial recognition. Much of Mark’s experience was gained in-house at IBM where he held various roles, including Global Data Privacy Counsel.

Mark has particular expertise in data privacy. He advises multinational companies on implementing General Data Protection Regulation compliant programs, Privacy Shield and Binding Corporate Rules. Mark has been involved in many of the most high profile data privacy cases in the world and regularly advises companies in relation to incident response and defending regulatory enforcement actions all over Europe.


  • BSc (Hons) Physics, University of Wales
  • D.Phil Semiconductor Physics, University of Oxford
  • Qualified 1995
  • Partner 2003
  • Joint Managing Partner 2010 – 2016


Data Protection Top 10

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What others say

Mark is "knowledgeable, thoughtful and pragmatic, and he has great business acumen," while further sources consider him to be "the pre-eminent data protection lawyer in Europe." Chambers and Partners 2020
"Mark Watts remains a top choice for data privacy issues " Chambers and Partners 2020
"He [Mark Watts] has great privacy law and tech industry knowledge." Chambers and Partners 2020
Mark Watts "frequently works with cloud computing service providers and social and digital media companies on transactions and commercial strategy." Chambers and Partners 2019
"Our internal lawyers hold him [Mark Watts] in really high esteem." Chambers and Partners 2019
Mark Watts is "recognised as a leader on privacy and data protection in the UK". Chambers and Partners 2019
Mark Watts "remains a powerhouse in the field and regularly works with multinational companies on a range of matters, including defending regulatory enforcement actions." Chambers and Partners 2019
Mark Watts wins praise for advice which is "always thoughtful, practical and flawlessly communicated." A client says: "He is knowledgeable about the law, but also has a deep understanding of the operational challenges his clients face every day." He is particularly expert on data protection issues. Chambers and Partners 2018
Mark Watts comes highly recommended for his expert data protection practice, which includes handling major disputes and cross-border regulatory concerns. "He's remarkable in his ability to apply the intersection of law and practice to his advice," according to one source, while another states: "He is brilliant; like no other. He is both very practical and deeply knowledgeable." Chambers and Partners 2018
The highly experienced Mark Watts continues to win the praise of market observers for his handling of public and private sector outsourcing deals. Interviewees consider him to be "a highly sophisticated and skilled lawyer." Chambers and Partners 2018
"...Commercial IT head Mark Watts, who is an expert on IT, outsourcing and data protection matters, are advising Bupa on its ongoing digital transformation strategy." Legal 500 2017
"Mark Watts, who has ‘incredible knowledge which he applies in a highly commercial way’, leads the team." Legal 500 2017
“Mark Watts is highlighted for his expert handling of IT outsourcing projects and is celebrated for his knowledge of data protection law and its commercial applications. Clients say: ‘He gives very practical advice on very complicated issues’." Chambers and Partners 2017
"Mark Watts is praised by contacts for his 'clear, incisive and pragmatic advice" and in particular for his "excellent knowledge of data protection.' This parallel expertise in cybersecurity as well as his recognised skill in outsourcing means that he is a valuable asset in a wide range of information technology disputes and negotiations." Chambers and Partners 2017
"Mark Watts leads the firm's data protection group and offers clients a vast wealth of experience in handling contentious and complex advisory work in the fields of information law and technology. He is 'super-smart, highly knowledgeable, very measured and able to navigate complicated problems,' according to clients." Chambers and Partners 2017
"‘Superstar’ Mark Watts heads the team." Legal 500 2016
"The practice is headed by ‘effective negotiator’ Mark Watts, who acts for Amazon Web Services and is known for his data protection expertise." Legal 500 2016
"Mark Watts is described as "whip-smart, experienced and pragmatic. He can pivot on approaches and strategies that enable the client to accomplish its business goals without making valuable concessions." He has particular expertise in BPO." Chambers and Partners 2016
"The "tremendous" Mark Watts is "extremely good at synthesising complex regulatory principles into messages that audiences of all levels can understand." He is joint managing partner of the firm and offers a great wealth of experience in technology issues, particularly in the areas of data protection, software and systems development and e-commerce." Chambers and Partners 2016
"Mark Watts "understands what his clients are trying to achieve which, when coupled with his deep understanding of IT and data protection issues, means he is able to adjust to issues on the fly." He brings to bear his substantial expertise in information law matters in both contentious and non-contentious environments for sophisticated clients around the world." Chambers and Partners 2016
"The 'superb' Mark Watts is a 'prominent figure' in the global information technology space. Offering clients over 20 years of experience in IT law, he is commended by peers and clients alike for his vast wealth of knowledge and his 'unflappable manner'. His impressive practice centres on his 'considerable insight into data protection issues'." Who's Who Legal 2016

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