My name is Heather Burns and I am a digital law specialist. I research, write, publish, consult, and speak extensively on internet laws and policies, most specifically those that affect the crafts of web design and development. I am available to write, speak, and consult on these topics. In addition to writing articles for web and mainstream publications, I have provided information and quotes for media outlets ranging from magazines to radio to business podcasts to adult industry sites.
I have been designing web sites since 1997, when it involved using a phone tethered to a laptop to dial in to a text-only Unix terminal, and have been a full time professional web site designer since 2007. My client-facing work has been with charities, not-for-profits, and third sector organisations mostly in Glasgow, Scotland. While keeping a handful of clients, I have now chosen to focus exclusively on my digital law work.
My work in digital law began in late 2011, when I volunteered (…or was volunteered?) to speak on the topic at a web development conference. Preparing that talk opened my eyes to the massive and disturbing gap between the black-and-white world of legislators and the practical realities of the web design and development professions, and what started as a simple presentation ended up changing the course of my career. While I am not a lawyer, the legislators who create digital laws are not internet users, much less designers or developers. Therein lies the problem. I view my work on digital law and policy as an attempt to build a bridge between the two parties.
In 2014 I wrote my first book, The Web Designer’s Guide to the Consumer Rights Directive, to help the web community get to grips with the EU e-commerce reforms. In 2015 I wrote for A List Apart and spoke to an international audience at WordCamp Europe on ten days’ notice.
In 2015 I earned a postgraduate certificate in Internet Law and Policy from the University of Strathclyde. Before web design existed as a career I earned a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and cut my teeth working on Capitol Hill, in think tanks, and at an international nonprofit. I have also served on an organisational liaison committee to the Scottish Parliament. These practical experiences have given me insight into the capital-P and small p- politics that go into the formulation and dissemination of laws and policies.
My hobbies include 6 Music, cycling, and shouting at Andy Murray.
Tel +44 (0)790 577 8255
contact at webdevlaw.uk
Sole trader – postal address on request