Esko Cate - WLG Privacy & Data Protection Co-chair

Published on Sep 7, 2023

Member Voices


Esko Cate
Foreign Associate, VILAF (Vietnam)
Co-chair, WLG Privacy & Data Protection

1. Describe your practice.

As an American lawyer based in Vietnam, I primarily guide foreign companies through technology-oriented matters related to commerce, cybersecurity, data protection, regulatory compliance, and telecommunications / media, among related sectors. In Vietnam's developing legal market, many business lawyers, including myself, adopt a broader approach compared to those in more mature markets. As a result, I also provide counsel on foreign investment matters, such as mergers, acquisitions, and select financing issues.

2. You were recently named as a leader of WLG's Privacy & Data Protection Group. Do you have any specific topics that you're looking forward to discussing?

As with many data protection lawyers, I am very interested to see how regulations around artificial intelligence and data privacy develop. I anticipate that updates in this area could generate some very interesting conversations in our meetings. Another initiative that I am looking forward to is the update of WLG’s Global Data Breach Guide.

3. Tell us about a recent client, marketing, or other collaboration with another WLG member firm(s).

VILAF regularly works closely with a number of WLG member firms on a variety of matters. In my practice, I often work quite closely with WongPartnership of Singapore. Recently, we have worked together to assist several prominent technology companies evaluate options and compliance requirements for introducing their technologies to the Vietnamese market.

4. What do you recommend as a must-see or activity for visitors to Vietnam?

Vietnam's food is a real treat. Vietnamese dishes are well-known for having a combination of powerful and subtle flavors; each dish you eat here is something you'll remember. Besides the food, I highly recommend visiting the northern mountains. Places like Yen Bai are beautiful and show a different side of Vietnam. Eating the local food and seeing these places will give you a full experience, but you are still only scratching surface of what Vietnam has to offer.