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 and highest value data privacy litigation in the world and regularly advises companies in relation to incident response and defending regulatory enforcement actions all over the world.


  • 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

"He's [Mark Watts] a brilliant guy with a systematic approach and great knowledge of technical matters fused with knowing exactly what is required in agreements involving data security matters." Chambers and Partners 2021
"He [Mark Watts] is extremely commercial and practical." Chambers and Partners 2021
"His [Mark Watts] familiarity with how regulators might be thinking is an asset to us." Chambers and Partners 2021
"Mark Watts demonstrates an exceptional knowledge of compliance and enforcement in the data protection market." Chambers and Partners 2021
Mark Watts "offers extensive experience in the representation of clients before regulatory bodies." Chambers and Partners 2021
Mark is "renowned as the go-to data privacy lawyer thanks to his impeccable understanding of GDPR issues and immense experience in regulatory enforcement proceedings and data privacy litigation." Who’s Who Legal Global Elite Thought Leader 2021
"Mark Watts is at the top of the sector for regulatory data protection and tech work." Legal 500 2021
"Technology expert" Mark Watts Legal 500 2021
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

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