“Our expectations were clear: we came to take home the prize!”

Interview with Wolters Kluwer staff.

For the second time, our firm has won the prestigious Wolters Kluwer Lawyer Award in the Data Protection category. To mark the occasion, Wolters Kluwer staff interviewed two members of the winning team, Andrea Belényi and Endre Várady, who, as defending champions, spoke about the preparations, the competition and how it felt to receive the award.

It’s worth reading their inspiring words!

As the defending champion in the data protection category, what does it mean for your firm to win the Lawyers’ Prize? Why do you think such an opportunity is needed nowadays?

Dr. Endre Várady (V.E.): I consider the Lawyer’s Prize a very high-quality event where the best in the profession measure themselves with very strong applications, so we are very proud to have won for the second time. A common and welcome point is that, like our firm, the Lawyer’s Prize is central to innovation, to which clients using our legal services are increasingly receptive.

Dr Andrea Belényi (B. A.): Our firm is characterised by a client-centric approach, and we have emphasised this in our tenders over the past two years. It is also important to mention that we consider our projects in the field of data protection in recent years to be exemplary and value-creating, which is why we thought it was worth applying.

How did you feel at the awards ceremony, what were your expectations and what were your experiences at the Hilton Budapest City?

V.E.: We had a great time at the event. Our expectations were clear: we came to take home the award. We were nervous, of course, but we had the hope that we had a realistic chance of winning. We believed we had made a great submission.

BA: We were nervous about defending our title. What “helped” us through at this point was that, to our great surprise, we immediately won the first category announced. By the time we’d even woken up, they had already announced the name of our office. I had the pleasure of making a short speech on behalf of the team on stage, which was an especially uplifting experience.

Their winning entry for 2019 is based around the theme of healthcare privacy compliance. Why did you choose it?

V.E.: We chose this topic because on one hand it concerns all of Hungarian society, and on the other hand there is a massive demand from clinics and individual doctors for GDPR compliance. We wanted to develop a product that could serve as an example for the whole profession.

B.A.: Our primary concern was to provide easily-accessible, comprehensive help to a wide range of professionals. Healthcare providers don’t necessarily have the greatest understanding of data processing and cannot be expected to have the highest level of legal knowledge in data protection. For them, data processing is an additional obligation, which our software helps them to fulfil, thereby making their job easier.

What is the essence and main innovation of the project you have developed?

V.E.: In short, the main innovation is that we have developed a software solution that is both complete and immediate – taking advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalisation and assessing the needs of doctors – because within minutes of filling in the questionnaire, the user receives a complete and customised GDPR compliance package.

B.A.: The user has to fill in an online questionnaire, which takes up to half an hour. The explicit purpose of the questionnaire is to assess the areas in which the practice needs to improve its procedures in order to comply with the legal requirements. Once completed, the software evaluates the responses and, based on this evaluation, produces a customised set of documents for data protection compliance, which are delivered to the respondent’s email address within minutes of completion. Answering the questions does not require any legal knowledge, the respondent only needs to know how their own practice works. Our solution supports the compliance of data processing for medical treatment purposes. And our interactive, small-group healthcare privacy training provides a space for professional discussion and is a very good complement to the material provided by the software.

What has been the biggest challenge in creating the software?

E.V.: It was not easy to reconcile the legal and IT logic, because the former is more free and the IT language has a clear but narrow framework, and it was quite demanding to integrate the content into it. The questions had to be worked out at the outset so that if changes were needed later, the whole system would not be overturned.

B.A.: We also need to know how the health sector works, with its broad and detailed set of rules. It was a huge thought experiment for ourselves to model how things work from start to finish.

What feedback have you received on your development?

BA: We were already testing the software with healthcare professionals during development. The feedback from there was really valuable for us. Our explicit goal was to speak the language of the healthcare workers, to make it as clear as possible for them. It was obvious from the outset that there was a user demand for a complete solution. Therefore, in addition to the evaluation report, the user will also receive the documents and sample records that are necessary for legal compliance.

Why has data protection become such a ‘hot’ area today?

V.E.: A few years ago, data protection seemed to be an abstract and distant concept. No one took it seriously. But then, at the beginning of the “GDPR scare” period, it became clear that this is an area that actually concerns everyone. Nowadays, consumers and employees alike are keen to ‘use’ data protection as a potential legal weapon. It is also becoming clear that more needs to be invested in data security, as data breaches can result in very serious financial and reputational damage.

B.A.: Data subjects have become much more aware. People have started to understand that they are paying with their data and their data are significant. Plus, the threat from the authorities on the data controller side. All this makes data protection a “hot” topic.

What message would you send to Wolters Kluwer future applicants?

AE: Anyone who takes the values of the Lawyers’ Award  seriously is encouraged to apply. This is a very good professional experience and the cultivation of these values should not be done just once a year, but should be incorporated into our daily work. I believe that the initiative carries an important message for the whole profession.

B.A.: Anyone who considers that they have had a project in the months preceding the call for proposals that could be an example and a benefit to the profession should definitely apply. It’s a great feeling to stand on stage with an award in your hand and to think of a project as having value to an outside observer.

Source: jogaszvilag.hu