[Gnso-epdp-team] FW: ICANN org response to EPDP Team

Marika Konings marika.konings at icann.org
Thu May 23 23:36:48 UTC 2019

Please see ICANN orgs response to the EPDP’s question below. This response will also get posted here: https://community.icann.org/x/5BdIBg.

Is there an attorney-client relationship between ICANN Org and Bird & Bird?


Dear EPDP Team:

In light of your recent question, “Is there an attorney-client relationship between ICANN Org and Bird & Bird,” and related communications on the EPDP Team list, we wanted to provide this background.

ICANN org retained the law firm of Bird & Bird as an additional expert to help advise on GDPR matters, including advising the EPDP Team. There is an attorney-client relationship between ICANN org and Bird & Bird. In connection with this engagement, Bird & Bird is providing analysis on issues related to the EPDP’s work that is being shared with the EPDP Team. In announcing<https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/gnso-epdp-legal/2019-January/000015.html> this engagement to the EPDP Team, ICANN org noted that ICANN has used the services of Bird & Bird in the past in a similar engagement, in providing public advice to the community Thick WHOIS Implementation Review Team. Given the positive experience with working with Bird & Bird on that public advice, Bird & Bird’s understanding of ICANN and its ecosystem, as well as its deep expertise in international privacy and data protection matters, ICANN org determined that the Bird & Bird team could help provide additional expertise to advance the efforts of ICANN org and the GNSO Expedited PDP Team.

Members of the EPDP Team’s legal committee proposed using the same independent outside counsel for both the EPDP Team and ICANN Org. To that end, in the “Considerations for Procurement of Legal Services” document<https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/gnso-epdp-legal/2019-January/000012.html> compiled by Kurt Pritz, the Phase 1 Chair, which incorporated the Statement of Work written by Stephanie Perrin and Diane Plaut, as well as a note on Conflict (by Margie Milam), and on possible efficiencies by Thomas Rickert, it was noted that the same outside counsel could be used for both the EPDP Team and ICANN org. The notes to ICANN included in the “Considerations” document stated that it was the EPDP Team’s belief that both ICANN org and the EPDP Team would require answers to the same or similar questions and that, therefore, reaching out to one firm might avoid duplicate costs and also potentially conflicting advice.

I hope that this background is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions or wish to discuss this topic further.


Dan and Trang

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