Meet Paul McDonagh-Forde, Senior Regulatory Lawyer in the Data Protection Commission

A collage of pictures depicting technology and data uses, with the DPC logo in the centre image.  The logo is a bright green triskele on a white background

The Role

A Legal Analyst has a key role in what is one of Europe’s most prominent and active data protection regulators, with opportunities to contribute to the DPC’s extensive work at national level, as well as the high-profile and unique role it holds in the supervision of large international organisations based in Ireland. The role, equivalent to that of a legal researcher, involves legal research and analysis and the provision of legal support across a broad range of the DPC’s activities. As a result, Legal Analysts are involved in a diverse array of substantive data protection issues as well as novel legal and regulatory matters. 


Paul McDonagh-Forde

I first joined the DPC in September 2019 and began by working in the Legal Analyst role, which enabled me to work on fascinating, varied and often novel legal issues that arise for the organisation. In particular, I worked on issues surrounding the regulation of technology companies, had regular interactions with colleagues from equivalent regulators throughout the EU, and had the opportunity to travel abroad for work to a large conference. As a result, it provided me with an opportunity to be involved in unique and often exciting work.

It is an extremely valuable experience to work for the most active and prominent data protection authority in Europe. You are given the opportunity to work on interesting, varied and unique projects on a regular basis. I have always found the DPC to be committed to its staff, both in terms of benefits and supports and in terms of promotion opportunities. Personally, I find the DPC to be supportive  of staff particularly the provision of training, including its refund of fees scheme for additional courses and qualifications, and through its understanding of the importance of work/life balance. While this is true of my experience, I have also seen that it is equally true in relation to staff at all levels in the organisation.

I particularly enjoyed that each day as a Legal Analyst with the DPC has the capacity to bring up either a new issue, or a new way of looking at an issue that you have considered before. The variety ensures that the work is always interesting and stimulating. My positive experience with the DPC, including during a period where I was studying part-time at weekends to qualify as a barrister, for which I availed of the refund of fees scheme, motivated me to stay with the organisation. Following promotion I am now working as a Senior Regulatory Lawyer within the DPC’s legal unit. I would strongly recommend to anybody to apply for the role of a Legal Analyst with the DPC.