Ireland: More Than Law
Last Updated: 15 March 2018

Five minutes with Sarah Slevin 

Sarah Slevin, solicitor in Ronan Daly Jermyn's Cyber and Data Protection Group, talks about what attracted her to a career in law, technology trends she is following and the future of the legal profession.

Why did you decide on a career in law?

The work of a solicitor seemed, to me, to combine a number of activities I enjoyed and thought I might be good at: problem-solving; research and analysis; using and interpreting language; understanding what your client needs and responding; and arguing my point (something to which those close to me will probably attest). It also offered the type of working life I wanted: variety; excitement (some might call it a 'thrill'); a degree of competitiveness; but, most importantly, engagement with people across all aspects of society – be it business, personal or otherwise.

Why are you interested in technology and data protection law specifically?

No other area of law offers more scope for constant change or is more relevant to the modern world and how it will be shaped into the future. Technology and data law didn't even exist as a sector within the legal profession 15 years ago – now, it is a subject which touches and affects every person, every business and nearly every product. That is something I want to be a part of!

When you think about it, all the great revolutions of the past created the legal system we have today. The Magna Carta prevented arbitrary use of power. It took the industrial revolution of the 19th century to create contract law and develop the idea of freedom of contract for all, without which the economy couldn't function. We are now at the digital revolution – until now, the law has been struggling to adapt, but this, I believe, and like the revolutions before now, will lead to major and defining changes in law as a concept and how it applies to all aspects of life.

How has your career as a solicitor (thus far) overlapped with your interest in technology?

Other than working in the field of technology, cyber and data protection law day-to-day, it has given me opportunities to move beyond law and see things from the client's perspective. Last year I participated in the American Chamber of Commerce's Future Leaders Hackathon, in which younger professionals from member companies came together to innovate and develop products and/or services which would make Ireland the best country in which to live and work (not meaning to brag, but my team were crowned victorious... for more information just ask!)

Hopefully these types of engagements show I know that being a good solicitor is 'more than law' and have helped to develop a level of commercial awareness and an understanding of key underlying concepts and technological developments necessary for me to offer clients a service that is second to none.

GDPR: much ado about nothing, or a defining moment for rights in the 21st century?

Honestly, both. Data is the new oil, but unlike oil, its value is built upon the property of every individual, being our personal information. GDPR is a necessary innovation; it is the first move towards giving data the true protection it needs. Having said all that, all GDPR really requires is a change of mindset combined with simple structural protections. With requisite initiative, and the right advice, every organisation can become 'GDPR-compliant', which will benefit not only real people but the organisations themselves.

Looking to the future, name the likely digital or technological innovation that excites you the most.

As nerdy as it may sound, I find the idea of 'smart contracts' to be fascinating. The underlying blockchain technology may be more famous for its use in cryptocurrencies, but the idea of a contract which could self-execute, without any likelihood of abuse or human error, is huge. As well as this, the fact that the drafter will need to be not only a legal expert but also a master of the underlying technology is exciting. It also shows the enormous potential of blockchain to be one of the 'revolutionary' technological developments of the next few years.

What will the practice of law look like 20 years from now?

The practice of law now looks nothing like it did 20 years ago, and even five years from now it will be completely different to today. The pace of change within the legal profession never ceases to amaze me, and the best lawyers will embrace this to their clients' advantage. Gone (hopefully) is the image of a grey-haired man in a suit rifling through dusty deeds. Within five years, I believe a solicitor's workday will be indistinguishable from someone working with an IT company or an online business.

Finally, name your favourite...

Band/artist; Anything falling within the genres of eighties power ballads or eighties rock. Can't narrow it further, I'm afraid.

Recent book; I recently read the original House of Cards novel, by British author Michael Dobbs. A proper political thriller.

Television show; A difficult one, but I'll name two – Doctor Foster and The Fall. Also, honorary mention must go to the Good Wife, and Diane Lockhart in particular. An icon to us all.

To contact Sarah Slevin, please email

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Press Releases from this Firm
Recent Content from this Firm
By Finola McCarthy
By Jennifer Cashman
By Darryl Broderick, Hilda Mannix
By Audrey Lynch, Adam McCarthy
By Louise Smith, Kate Duffy
By Jennifer Cashman, Ciara Ní Longaigh
By Louise Boughton, Ruairi Geoghegan
By Jennifer Cashman, Ciara Ní Longaigh
By Seán O'Reilly, Adam McCarthy
By Richard O'Brien, Sharon Burke
Font Size:
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions