Focus feature: Patricia Kosseim – Focus online

Dec 4, 2019

The November 2019 issue of Focus online features an in-depth profile of Patricia Kosseim, Counsel in Osler’s Privacy and Data Management Group and National Co-leader of the firm’s AccessPrivacy knowledge platform. Focus online is a regular publication of McGill University’s Faculty of Law, her alma mater.

The article describes Patricia’s path to a career in law and how she decided on legal studies after spending a year working as a researcher at McGill’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law.

“Here was this interdisciplinary team of people thinking about the issues I really cared about – health, policy, ethics, society – and they were all coming at it from different angles,” Patricia explains. “Throughout that year, I learned that the legal approach appealed to me the most and law would be the tool I would eventually choose for addressing these societal challenges.”

After studying law at McGill, she went on to obtain an M.A. in Medical Law and Ethics from King’s College at the University of London, followed by stints practising health law at a national firm and working at the Ethics Office of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Patricia then served for 11 years as Senior General Counsel and Director General of the Legal, Policy, Research and Technology Branch of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, an experience that provided her with invaluable insight that she continues to leverage when advising clients today.

“I don’t think I could offer the same strategic insights to my clients if I had not worked as a policymaker and regulator for so many years,” she reflects. “Working in the public sector helped me gain a broader perspective: I can better understand general trends of law and policy in this field, and can anticipate how the other side is likely to perceive and react to a situation. When you’ve seen how badly things can go downstream, it’s a lot easier to give sound, practical advice upstream. It’s gratifying to see how much clients appreciate that enriched perspective.”

In her current role at Osler, Patricia has a busy practice in privacy and data management law and is the national co-lead of AccessPrivacy by Osler, a subscription-based platform that offers the insight and advice needed to navigate all areas of privacy and data governance.

“The idea [of AccessPrivacy] is to make this knowledge available in a convenient and affordable format so that clients can get the answers themselves,” she says.

To learn more about Patricia Kosseim, including her take on the future of privacy and data management, read the full article “Focus feature: Patricia Kosseim” in the November edition of Focus online.