Hogan Lovells Lands FTC Commissioner to Lead Cybersecurity Group

March 24, 2016, 4:03 PM

Hogan Lovells announced this week that it has tapped outgoing Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill for a leadership role in its growing data security practice group.

Brill will join the firm on April 1 as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office, and co-director of the firm’s privacy and cybersecurity practice group.

“She’s really been the most outspoken defender of the U.S. government privacy framework,” said Chris Wolf, who is stepping down as co-director to assume a senior position in the privacy group, “which is not as neat and compact as the privacy directive in Europe.”

[caption id="attachment_9411" align="alignleft” width="186"][Image “Julie Brill, commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, speaks during a news conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. Intel Corp., the world’s largest computer chipmaker, cannot use threats or bundled prices to block customers from buying competitors’ products under a settlement of antitrust charges, the FTC said. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images” (src=https://bol.bna.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/GettyImages-103231624.jpg)]Julie Brill. Photo by Andrew Harrer (Bloomberg via Getty Images)[/caption]

Wolf said Brill is looking to have a global practice, and stay involved on policy issues related to the Privacy Shield, the U.S.-E.U. pact that governs cross-border data transfers which was announced earlier this year.

The firm has 35 lawyers in its privacy and cybersecurity group, which formed as a split off from the antitrust and consumer protection group in 2010. Most of the lawyers are based in Washington, D.C., or London, according to Wolf.

Her departure leaves the FTC with three commissioners. It follows the resignation of Joshua Wright in August 2015, who stepped down to return to his position as a professor at George Mason University School of Law.

Brill, whose term on the FTC did not end until November, is stepping down on March 31. She was not available for comment.

President Obama appointed her to the position in 2010, and before that she worked as an assistant attorney general in both North Carolina and Vermont.

Carla Hine, a McDermott Will & Emery attorney who focuses on antitrust and consumer protection, said Brill was known for being a strong proponent of consumer privacy and as an advocate of the Privacy Shield.

“All the commissioners focus on it, but she was really front and center on privacy issues at the FTC,” said Hine.

As one of five FTC commissioners, she was known as an advocate for consumers rights. The Washington Postreported that she “took a leading role in calling for greater scrutiny of data brokers — companies that trade in the commercial and behavioral information generated when consumers surf the Web or use their credit cards.”

Hine said she did not expect the Obama Administration to nominate anyone to fill the vacancies on the FTC.

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