The Examination Board for the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is comprised of the following data protection and privacy experts:

Paul Lavery, McCann FitzGerald

Paul Lavery
Head of Technology & Innovation Group McCann FitzGerald


Paul Lavery is head of McCann FitzGerald’s Technology & Innovation Group and advises on a wide range of data protection and information technology issues. Paul regularly acts for private entities and public bodies in relation to data protection obligations, including advising on subject access requests, data security, record retention, data protection notices, policies and privacy statements, as well as solutions to facilitate the transfer of data outside the EEA and registrations required under the Data Protection Acts. He regularly deals with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

Paul has also advised a number of clients on their interaction with the Data Protection Commissioner on data security issues arising in the case of data theft or loss.

He is a regular contributor of articles to Data Protection Ireland.


Oisin Tobin

Oisín Tobin
Mason Hayes & Curran

Oisín Tobin is a Partner in Mason Hayes & Curran's Technology and Privacy and Data Security teams and Head of our San Francisco office.

Oisín focuses on advising and defending leading technology companies. He has particular experience in formulating and implementing global privacy and data transfer strategies, advising on the development and rollout of innovative technologies and acting for businesses under investigation by European data protection authorities or engaged in privacy-related litigation.

Working between Dublin and San Francisco, Oisín also counsels technology companies on their international expansion plans. He has a reputation as the go-to lawyer for commercially driven privacy and technology law advice in difficult cases and represents many of the internet’s best-known companies.

He is a contributor of articles to Data Protection Ireland.


Robert Bond, Bristows

Robert Bond

Robert Bond is a Partner at Bristows. He has specialised in technology law for over 37 years and is also a well recognised expert and author in the legal fields of TMT, ecommerce, data protection and cyber security. He is a member of Big Data and Analytics Council and the United Nations Privacy Advisory Group, is on the advisory Board of the Data Protection Academy of Malaysia, and is an Ambassador for Privacy by Design. He is named in the National Law Journal's list of 50 Governance Risk & Compliance Trailblazers, listed in the top 10 in “the Who’s Who of Information Technology Lawyers”. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.


PDP Training | Emily Gibson, Barrister

Emily Gibson

Emily Gibson is a practising barrister. She specialises in the areas of EU Law, particularly data protection law, intellectual property law and competition, and in commercial law and arbitration. She has advised and acted on a range of data protection issues for individuals and data controllers.

A former lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, Emily has published widely and is a regular presenter at conferences and seminars. Emily is a graduate of UCC, King’s Inns and King’s College London.

She was called to the Irish Bar in 2001 and the New York Bar in 2003.

Lisa Jackson, Leman Solicitors

Lisa Jackson
Data Protection Manager

Lisa Jackson is Data Protection Manager with Three having previously been Data Protection and Privacy Counsel at Facebook. Lisa trained and qualified in Matheson.


A former journalist with an MA in Journalism, Lisa also wrote regularly for The Sunday Business Post, Silicon Republic and online journal New Tech Post. She continues to write on legal issues in a variety of publications. Before joining the Examination Board, Lisa herself completed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection.


Minakaran Negin, Allen & Overy

Negin Minakaran
Senior In-House Lawyer
Allen & Overy LLP

Negin Minakaran is a Senior In-House Lawyer in Allen & Overy LLP's Practice Protection Group. She advises on a wide range of legal, risk and compliance matters, including policies, company secretarial and partnership affairs, commercial contracts, intellectual property rights and data protection law.

Before joining the Examination Board, Negin herself completed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection.

Sarah O'Neill
Senior Risk & Compliance Lawyer
Addleshaw Goddard


Sarah O'Neill is a Senior Risk and Compliance Lawyer for Addleshaw Goddard LLP. She advises the practice on issues relating to legal and regulatory compliance and other wide ranging risk issues that may have an adverse impact on the firm, including data protection, confidentiality and IT security matters.  
Prior to that Sarah was a Risk Management Lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and a Senior In-House Lawyer at Allen & Overy LLP.

PDP Training | Suzanne Rodway, RBS

Suzanne Rodway
Group Head of Privacy

Suzanne Rodway is the Group Head of Privacy for the Royal Bank of Scotland.  She has responsibility for bank secrecy as well as worldwide oversight of the group's compliance with privacy and data protection laws.

She trained with global law firm Linklaters, where she qualified in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice. She later moved in-house within Linklaters to advise the firm on its own privacy and information risk management issues.  Until her recent move to Royal Bank of Scotland, Suzanne was the Chief Privacy Officer at NBC Universal.

Ashley Roughton, Barrister

Ashley Roughton

Ashley Roughton is a Barrister in independent practice specialising in data protection. He was counsel in many of the leading data protection cases of the past decade including Smith v Lloyds TSB and Johnson v Medical Defence Union, and he regularly advises both individuals and data controllers in relation to proceedings before the Court and the Tribunal.

Ashley's client base includes institutions as well as individuals and he also advises in relation to compliance, data sharing and cross border transfers. Ashley is also an examiner in commercial law at the University of London.


Damien Welfare, Cornerstone Barristers

Damien Welfare
Cornerstone Barristers

Damien Welfare came to the Bar in 2001 after a career in Local Government. He specialises in freedom of information, data protection and the Environmental Information Regulations.


Olivia Whitcroft, Solicitor, OBEP

Olivia Whitcroft

Olivia Whitcroft is a solicitor and has worked in the field of data protection for 18 years. Having led the data protection practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP for several years, she now runs her own legal practice, OBEP, specialising in data protection and technology laws. She previously Olivia enjoys assisting her clients with their data protection frameworks, including assessing risk and finding practical solutions in the context of their specific situations. She finds the intricacies of data protection exciting, and seeks to inspire others to feel the same. Olivia is a Member of the Examination Board for the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection.



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“I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The trainers explained the concepts clearly and concisely while also facilitating useful group discussions.”

Sara McAneney
IT Security Manager at Trinity College Dublin


“For anyone working in the area of Data Protection, the Practitioner Certificate is a must. I am delighted to have passed and look forward to applying the skills and knowledge I have gained throughout the course into practice.”

Jan Corcoran
Head of Finance at Dillon Eustace


 "The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is an invaluable course in providing the knowledge and ultimately the credibility to engage my clients in all matters pertaining to information management and governance."

Stephen McGrath
Operations Governance Manager at Department of Public Expenditure and Reform


“I strongly recommend participation on the PDP Data Practitioner course.  In a time when privacy rights and insurance claims are hot topics, it is vital that companies remain up to date with what they can and cannot do, with what the they must and must not do in order to protect themselves and their employees.  PDP absolutely provides expertise in a clear and concise manner.”

Sean Ryan
Plant Engineer and Security Manager at Castolin Eutectic Ireland


"The work involved in getting the qualification - attending the programme course and preparing for the exam - results in a strong level of knowledge of data protection law and practice."

Lisa Sexton
Director of Risk and Quality at PwC


“I was delighted to have been given the opportunity by Fónua to attend the courses offered by PDP and even happier to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. I feel this qualification has equipped me with the knowledge and confidence I require to advise both my organisation and customers on our obligations under the Data Protection Acts.”

Bríd O'Connor
Quality and Environmental Manager at Fónua


“This was a very challenging programme delivered in an informative and interesting manner. The content encouraged me to critically appraise my day to day processes and I feel it has equipped me excellently to ensure compliance and safeguard the data entrusted to us. ”

Gráinne Dardis
Payroll Manager at Virgin Media


“The course material was comprehensive and challenging, particularly in the area of International Data Transfers. In this regard, the qualification is extremely useful and provides me with the confidence to deal with such issues. In addition, the modules are delivered by highly qualified, industry professionals."

Stephen Laffan
Information Governance & Data Protection Manager at Espion


“As a security professional I found the 5 courses to be invaluable in dealing with data protection issues in my work . The data protection area can be a minefield when starting out and I found the trainers and course material were excellent at explaining how to apply this newly learned knowledge to everyday situations."

Joanne Ness
IT Security and PCI Manager at Easytrip


“The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is an invaluable course for those practising in the area of data protection as the course is given by those with practical in-depth experience of data protection law and its application.”

Olive McDaid
Senior Lawyer at KPMG


“The importance of data protection is constantly increasing and companies need to be prepared for the challenges this brings. Having the certified data protection practitioner qualification provides assurances for both staff and service users.”

Michelle White
Quality Officer at Sims IVF


"I am delighted to pass the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. It will be good to be seen as an expert in my field, and wear a badge of professionalism. This will enhance my credibility and status with customers, fellow privacy professionals and people I deal with on a daily basis.

Róisín Barton-Murray
Project Manager at National Roads Authority


“I found the course Presenters and materials to be extremely good in providing an in-depth understanding of Data Protection Law and also in providing practical guidance on how to run a Data Protection Programme. I believe this Professional Certification allows Organisations to demonstrate that they are working to the highest established standards in this complex and increasingly critical field”

Frank O’Reilly
Data Protection Manager at Bord Gáis Eireann


“I found the course very useful for consolidating my Data Protection knowledge. I am delighted to have passed what was a relatively tough exam.  In the changing landscape of education, protection of Personal Data is becoming more and more important and a good level of knowledge is essential”

Fiona Nugent
HR Officer at Co Monaghan VEC


“As a Director of Corporate Services in a large Regulatory Body, Data Protection is a vital consideration in all transactions relating to the Public, Registrants and Staff.  The Practitioner Certificate course in Data Protection from PDP provided a comprehensive and detailed insight into the current Data Protection Acts and the impending introduction of the EU Regulation”

Peter Dennehy
Director of Corporate Services at An Bord Altranais


“I came away from this course with a greater confidence in interpreting the various requirements of the Acts and with a greater understanding of how these requirements could be applied in practice.  I enjoyed the interaction and sharing of experiences with fellow participants and I was encouraged to find how we all faced similar challenges in meeting our obligations to the Acts.  This course provided me with the knowledge to meet these obligations”

Andrew Kirwan
Audit & Compliance Manager at Sanef ITS Operations Ireland Ltd


“The course was given by those with practical experience in the field of data protection and as such having successfully completed the Data Protection Practitioner Qualification I feel I have a good grounding in the everyday practicalities of dealing with data protection issues. I am delighted to have passed the examination, and I now feel much more qualified to work in this field.”

Judith Hills
Legal Associate at Gilead


“I came away from this course with a greater confidence in interpreting the various requirements of the Acts and with a greater understanding of how these requirements could be applied in practice.  I enjoyed the interaction and sharing of experiences with fellow participants and I was encouraged to find how we all faced similar challenges in meeting our obligations to the Acts.  This course provided me with the knowledge to meet these obligations”

Andrew Kirwan
Audit & Compliance Manager at Sanef ITS Operations Ireland Ltd


“With the impending European data protection reforms, now more than ever it’s important to differentiate yourself from the crowd. I’m delighted to have passed both for my own sake but also that of the organisation where it demonstrates the value we place on dealing with our responsibilities to the highest professional standards.”

David Parker
Privacy Manager Europe at Crawford & Company


“I found this to be an enjoyable and challenging course, tailored to those who seek an industry recognised qualification in a field which has previously held limited options and delivered by credible professionals who are well respected as subject matter experts in the field of privacy and information rights.”

Rich Brameld
Data Protection and Compliance Manager at RWE npower


"I am extremely proud and pleased to have passed the Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection. I found the courses and the exam thought provoking, and it has made me realise that Data Protection is a much bigger subject than I envisaged. I now feel confident having a recognised qualification under my belt.”

Emma Drew
Data Protection Analyst at Canada Life


“The PDP programme offers a fantastic array of knowledge and learning in the fast-developing area of data protection.”

Finín O’ Brien
Solicitor at Ronan Daly Jermyn


“The Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection is a challenging, comprehensive and extremely interesting week long course,  delivered by highly qualified professionals.”

Laura O'Dwyer
Director at KPMG


“The course offered a commendable balance between the pure legalities and practical examples of the application of data protection law to everyday scenarios. The lecturers demonstrated that not only were they subject matter experts, but as importantly, they could teach and impart their expertise in a comprehendible manner.”

George Ryan
Compliance Manager at Investec Bank


“The PDP Practitioner’s Certificate in Data Protection is a challenging course and provided me with the essential knowledge to work in the area of data protection.”

Christine Weldon
Executive Officer at Office of the Revenue Commissioners


“At Microsoft, we believe that for organizations to succeed, they must be able to deploy technology that their employees and customers trust. We chose PDP for our training because having a thorough understanding of data protection laws and ensuring compliance is a key part of that trust.”

Angela Wing
Attorney at Microsoft


“I really enjoyed the PDP Programme and I feel I benefited a lot from it. I found the content was interesting and enjoyable and the lecturers were very knowledgeable, I also liked that it was interactive so I had the chance to hear the thoughts of others on DP issues. I am delighted that I have passed my exam and I look forward to using everything I have learned in my current job.”

Stephanie Forrester
Data Protection & Governance Manager at Aviva Ireland