Paola: “Compliance is my mission”
14 March 2022

Paola Zanaboni is a junior compliance analyst in our compliance team

Tell us a bit about your background, how you came to join BonelliErede, and what you’re responsible for at the firm.

I moved from Chiavari, Liguria, to Milan to study law and graduated in 2017 with a thesis on legal information technology and cyberbullying.

After working for the chair of legal information technology at the University of Milan, I started working as a trainee lawyer for a few years. I dealt with issues concerning privacy and important regulations such as the GDPR, which as of 2018 applies in all EU member states.

Little did I know that a major career change was just around the corner: in late 2019, I was contacted by BonelliErede for an interview, and in 2020 my adventure in the compliance team began. I became part of the firm’s large business support team.

My responsibilities include adapting privacy policies for all BonelliErede offices across EMEA, supporting other departments with work and initiatives that require our team’s input on data processing issues (e.g., when drafting contracts or participating in tenders), and supporting the IP law team on other privacy-related aspects.

Privacy law is so fascinating to me: personal data processing affects us all on a daily basis, especially given how new technologies are evolving – and it will have an ever-greater impact in the years to come.

How has your approach to work changed?

As a trainee lawyer, I assisted many clients with complex aspects of corporate privacy compliance; now, as a member of the compliance team, I’m an ‘inside woman’ on all compliance-related issues and manage projects from start to finish. I always have a lot on my plate – but at the end of the day, I feel a great sense of accomplishment because I see us getting closer and closer to achieving all our compliance goals.

Before joining BonelliErede I was something of a ‘lone wolf’, whereas today I’m part of a team of three: we’re in frequent contact also to discuss issues I’m not directly involved in (anti-money laundering obligations, and Consob and DAC6 rules) and that I otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to delve into.

We are a united, close-knit team and continually exchange knowledge amongst ourselves and with other colleagues whenever we can; working remotely because of the pandemic thankfully hasn’t stunted our ever-increasing growth in terms of projects and results.

What about when you take a break from compliance – what do you do to relax?

Travelling has always given me peace of mind and serenity, even in difficult times. I’ve been returning to my hometown more often of late, especially in winter (I love the winter sea!). But my greatest passion is going on road trips: I believe it’s the most authentic way to really get to know places and experience different lifestyles, in Italy and abroad.

I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many breathtaking sceneries: my most recent trip to Holland – my first since the pandemic broke out – immediately springs to mind. I’ve always been fascinated by Northern Europe and I’m happy that my first trip in a long while was to that area.

But one of my most memorable trips to date, also in terms of life lessons, was after graduation: I drove through Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, in North India. As cliché as it might sound, that trip holds a special place in my heart: it taught me that happiness is in the little things. I think about it very often and hope to go back and pick up where I left off!

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