Emma L. Flett is a partner in Kirkland’s Technology & IP Transactions Practice and heads the London team. Emma's practice is focused on complex intellectual property and technology-related transactions, carve-outs and business separations and EU data protection.
Emma works closely with the firm wide Corporate Practice on a variety of transactions in which intellectual property, information technology and data privacy play a key role, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, private equity investments, financings and secured lending, bankruptcies and restructurings. Emma also assists clients in connection with joint ventures and strategic alliances; intellectual property and technology transfers and licences; service agreements (including transitional service arrangements); development and collaboration agreements; data transfer and sharing arrangements; and other commercial contracts (such as supply and distribution agreements).
Emma’s practice is varied and her experience covers the full spectrum of intellectual property and technology related work, from patents, data and designs, to trade marks, copyright and software, most notably in complex, high-value M&A transactions and private equity investments.
In addition, Emma counsels clients on data protection compliance (including with regard to the EU General Data Protection Regulation) and brings EU experience to Kirkland’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Practice. Prior to joining Kirkland, Emma was a lawyer at Clifford Chance LLP, London, where she also trained.
Co-author, “Terminating the current status quo - is it finally judgment day for AI-derived patents?”, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, 2022
Co-author, “The Final Piece to the Schrems II Puzzle? UK Parliament Approves New International Data Transfer Mechanisms, Plus Signs of a Breakthrough on Transatlantic Data Flows from the EU,” Kirkland Alert, April 2022
Co-author, “Lloyd v Google: Supreme Court Ruling Sheds Light on UK Data Protection “Class Actions”,” Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, 2022
“Cross-Border Transfers of Personal Data: The Post-Schrems II and Brexit Landscape Begins to Take Shape,” Kirkland & Ellis Alert, October 2021
“The Data Sharing Code: A gateway to good data sharing practice,” Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, October 2021
Co-author, “General Court Allows Guerlain’s Appeal,” Entertainment Law Review, October 2021
Co-author, “Digital Identity Systems Have Come of Age: The Information Commissioner’s Cautious Support of the Government’s Proposed UK Digital Identity and Attribute Framework,” Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, June 2021
Co-author, “Scott v LGBT Foundation Ltd: Do Phone Conversations Amount to "Processing" of Personal Data?”, Entertainment Law Review, 2020
Co-author, “Is Your Video Surveillance Legitimate under EU Data Protection Rules?”, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, Volume 26, Issue 6, 2020
Co-author, “Schrems Strikes Again: EU–US Privacy Shield Suffers Same Fate as Its Predecessor”, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, Volume 26, Issue 6, 2020
“Schrems Strikes Again: EU-US Privacy Shield Suffers Same Fate as its Predecessor,” Kirkland & Ellis Alert, August 2020
Co-author, “The legendairy case of the HALLOUMI trade mark: a successful appeal in the opposition to the BBQLOUMI trade mark”, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 15, No. 8, August 2020
Co-author, “Morrisons off the hook as employers welcome clarity on vicarious liability for data breach: WW Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants  UKSC 12”, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 15, Issue 7, July 2020
Co-author, “European Commission and the EDPB Lay Out Framework for Privacy-Compliant Contact Tracing Apps”, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, Volume 26, Issue 5, July 2020
Co-author, “Google LLC v CNIL—CJEU Rules on the Territorial Scope of the “Right to be Forgotten”,” Entertainment Law Review, Issue 2, 2020
Co-author, “Court of Appeal Furthers the UK’s Bid to be the SEPs Capital of Europe”, European Intellectual Property Law Review, Volume 41, Issue 6, 2019
Co-author, “SEPs Education: Court of Appeal Confirms its FRANDly Approach to Global SEP Licences”, European Intellectual Property Law Review, Volume 41, Issue 3, 2019
Co-author, “Data Protection on Both Sides of the Pond: GDPR v California’s Consumer Privacy Act”, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, Volume 25, Issue 1, January 2019
“CJEU Brings AG Spunzar to Heel in Finding Louboutin Registration to be Valid”, Emma Flett and John Patten, Entertainment Law Review, Volume 9, Issue 7, September 2018
Co-author, “Third Time’s the Charm: Supreme Court Orders Luxury Watchmaker to Pay the Costs of Blocking Web Infringers”, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, Volume 24, Issue 7, September 2018
Co-author, “Heads or Tails? Are Europe’s GDPR and China’s Cybersecurity Law Two Sides of the Same Coin?” China Business Law Journal, May 2018
“The GDPR - Coming Soon to an M&A Transaction Near You,” Kirkland & Ellis Alert, May 2018
Co-author, “The UK Data Protection Bill: Legislating for the Digital Age”, Digital Business Lawyer, November 2017
“David and Victoria have IP Office at Beck and Call for Children—Trade Marking the Kids’ Names puts Beckhams on Cruz Control for IP Protection”, Entertainment Law Review, Volume 28, Issue 7, September 2017, Emma L. Flett and Eleanor Harley. Following the recent registration by Posh and Becks of their children’s names as EU trade marks, and applications made by Beyoncé and Jay-Z to register the names of their new-born twins, this article considers the protection of celebrities’ names from a trade mark perspective, and the patchwork of more traditional IP rights that are also relied upon in the UK.
“Avoid the Worst, Put Data Security First! Warns the UK ICO”, CTLR, The Journal of e-Commerce, Technology and Communications, Sweet & Maxwell, Issue 6 2017, co-author with Joanna Balata. This article considers the recent decisions of the UK Information Commissioner to fine TalkTalk and Royal & Sun Alliance for serious data security breaches that compromised thousands of customer records, including financial data. The article compares the level of the fines in the light of the circumstances of each breach, and considers the likelihood of higher fines for similar breaches under the General Data Protection Regulation.
Co-author, “EU General Data Protection Regulation”, Kirkland & Ellis Alert, August 2017
Co-author, “eXtreme action against G-Force leaves them blushing in the locker room (the capitalised X is intentional)”, Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, Volume 12, Issue 5, May 2017
Co-author, “Artificial Intelligence: Is Johnny 5 Alive? Key Bits and Bytes from the UK’s Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Inquiry”, Computer and Telecommunications Law Review, April 2017
Co-author, “What does Brexit mean for your organisation’s data protection?”, Bond.org.uk Brexit Blog, April 2017
Co-author, "Things That Go Bump in the Night: Confronting Data Protection Monsters in the M&A Closet," BNA's World Data Protection Report, Volume 16, Number 12, December 2016
Co-author, “Concrete Solution, or Are the Sands Still Shifting? European Data Protection Post-Schrems”, BNA's Privacy and Security Law Report and BNA's World Data Protection Report, Volume 16, Number 8, August 2016
Co-author, “More Armour Required Before Putting Down Our Guard? European Data Protection Supervisor Issues Opinion on Privacy Shield”, BNA’s World Data Protection Report, Volume 16, Number 6, June 2016
Co-author, “The U.K. Data Protection Dozen—ICO Publishes 12 Step Checklist to Prepare for GDPR”, BNA's World Data Protection Report, Volume 16, Number 4, April 2016
“Cristal, Anyone? Corks Go “Pop” for Louis Roederer”, Entertainment Law Review, Vol 27, Issue 3, March 2016
Co-author, “A Step in the Right Direction for Louboutin”, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, December 2015
Co-author, “A Grey Sky for Skype”, Entertainment Law Review, Volume 26, Issue 6, July 2015
Co-author, "Responses from Within the EEA and Beyond to the ECJ's Ruling on Safe Harbor: Shifting Sands"
Author, "Death Row and Data Protection: Subject Access Requests under U.K. Law, Interplay with Other Statutory Regimes and the Relevance of Motive", BNA’s World Data Protection Report, Volume 15, Number 4, April 2015
Co-author, "The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office Report on ‘Big Data’ and Data Protection", BNA’s World Data Protection Report, Volume 14, Number 9, September 2014
"Banking on IP: A Call for Action From the UK Intellectual Property Office," Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, May 2014
"Working in the Cloud: managing risk", Property Professional Magazine, March/April 2014, Issue 3
"The Silver Lining in Europe’s Cloud", Computer & Telecommunications Law Review, 2014 Volume 20, Issue 1
Co-author, "European Parliament Study on Cybercrime and Privacy in the Cloud Stresses the Need for Accountability", BNA's World Data Protection Report, Volume 13, Number 2, February 2013
"ACTA: The Anti-Counterfeiting Crack-Down", Entertainment Law Review, Volume 22, Issue 3, March 2011
“EU Data Privacy: I almost wish I hadn’t gone down the rabbit hole—and yet—and yet—”, Speaker to Vista, August 2021
“EU Data Privacy: I almost wish I hadn’t gone down the rabbit hole—and yet—and yet—”, Sun Capital Advisors Meeting, July 2021
“GDPR in a Nutsell,” University of Cambridge Webinar, March 2021
“Protecting your most Critical Assets in Today’s Economic Environment: How Investors can Identify and Rapidly Respond to Cyber Risks”, Cyber M&A Webinar, June 2020
“Down the Rabbit Hole: the GDPR 18 Months On”, NYC, October 2019
“The Data Privacy Shake-Up", Stanford Law School, Stanford CA, May 2018.
“The Final Countdown...10 days to go!”, Kirkland & Ellis Technology & Law Seminar in Chicago IL, May 2018.
“GDPR: Impact Worldwide on Data Protection, Privacy, E-Discovery and Cybersecurity Conference”, Sandpiper Partners, New York and Chicago IL, April 2018.
“The GDPR: How Deep Does the Rabbit Hole Go?”, 2018 Vista Operational Excellence BPSS, Dallas TX, April 2018.
“Down the Rabbit Hole: The GDPR Through the Looking Glass”, Kirkland & Ellis Technology & Law Seminar in Chicago IL, May 2017.
“EU Data Protection Update”, 2017 Vista Operational Excellence BPSS in Dallas TX, March 2017.
“Newsflash: Data Protection Download from around the Globe”, Kirkland & Ellis Technology & Law Seminar in Chicago IL, May 2016.
“Can You Keep a Secret? Stronger Protection for Trade Secrets in Europe and Japan”, Kirkland & Ellis Technology & Law Seminar in Chicago IL, May 2015.
"Bring in the Clouds: Data Privacy, Security and Ethics Issues in Cloud Computing and Big Data”, Kirkland & Ellis Technology & Law Seminar in Chicago IL, May 2014.
Emma has also presented to and provided training for a variety of clients on the GDPR.
Emma Flett commented on the UK privacy office’s increased enforcement penalties in “U.K. Privacy Fines Jump May Signal Move to New EU Regime”, by George Lynch, Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security, Bloomberg News, 20 July 2017
Kirkland & Ellis LLP Pro Bono Service Award for Outstanding Service, every year from 2011 to date
Recognised as a ‘Power Player: Cyber Security & Data Privacy 2022 - Distinguished Adviser’ by Financier Worldwide
Ranked Tier 1 in Legal 500 Technology Media and Telecoms - IP: Patents (contentious and non-contentious). Emma heads the non-contentious practice.
Memberships & Affiliations
Society for Computers and Law
International Association of Privacy Professionals
Emma is a member of the Firmwide Gender & Diversity Committee, the European Associate Review Committee, the Firmwide Pro Bono Committee, and London Office Operations Committee
Admissions & Qualifications
- 2009, Admitted to Practice as a Solicitor of England and Wales
- University of CambridgeM.A. (Cantab) (Law and Management)Hons.2008
- Oxford Institute of Legal PracticeLegal Practice Coursewith Distinction2006
- Judge Business School, University of CambridgeSecond Part II (Management)2005
- Christ's College, University of CambridgeB.A., Cantab (Law)Hons.2005