Edward R. McNicholas is a co-leader of Ropes & Gray’s privacy & cybersecurity practice. He represents technologically sophisticated clients facing complex data, privacy, and cybersecurity issues in litigation, investigative, and counseling matters. His clients include financial institutions, technology companies, insurance companies, branded pharma companies, healthcare providers, and e-commerce and other retailers.
Ed has significant experience with investigations and class action litigation related to cybersecurity incidents, as well as enforcement actions by the FTC, state Attorneys General, the SEC, OCR, Data Protection Authorities outside of the U.S., and other government agencies. He leads internal investigation and litigation matters that frequently involve complex, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-national litigation issues, particularly federal court jurisdictional and constitutional concerns related to the First and Fourth Amendments. Ed has experience dealing with Internet and information law matters involving data breaches, ransomware, online brand protection, trade secrets, social media, e-commerce, and national security issues.
Ed also advises clients on the full range of federal, state and foreign privacy and data security requirements including in the areas of financial privacy, health care privacy, communications privacy, ad-tech, cybersecurity, and national security. Ed’s counseling practice also includes other areas of technology law, such as electronic surveillance, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, trade secrets, online advertising, social media and big data/data science. He frequently helps companies design global data governance programs to allow for efficient data transfers across corporate entities governed by multiple privacy regimes, such as US privacy laws, including the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, HIPAA, and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as well as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the various privacy and cybersecurity regimes in China and across Asia.
Ed previously served as an Associate Counsel to President Clinton. In that capacity, he advised senior White House staff regarding various Independent Counsel, congressional and grand jury investigations. Ed has developed unique experience representing clients in the midst of media-driven legal challenges. His crisis management skills are particularly useful in coordinating the swirl of complex litigation, congressional hearings, and federal and state investigations that can follow from major privacy and cybersecurity incidents.
Ed is a frequent commentator on privacy, data security, and information law issues and has written extensively on various information law and civil liberties topics for a variety of publications. He is the lead editor of the PLI treatise, Cybersecurity: A Practical Guide to the Law of Cyber Risk.