Squire Patton Boggs has poached Los Angeles-based Alan Friel, Baker Hostetler’s U.S. consumer privacy group head, to help lead its global privacy and cybersecurity practice.
Friel, who also served as BakerHostetler’s California digital assets and data management leader, helps clients create data inventories and develop information governance and data privacy and security programs. He’s worked with clients on issues around the landmark California Consumer Privacy Act, and is also counseling on compliance with the California Privacy Rights Act, which takes effect in 2023.
Squire Patton Boggs is one of several large firms, including Mayer Brown, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and Goodwin Procter, that have made recent lateral hires in data privacy and cybersecurity practices ahead of a possible renewed push for more regulations in this area by the Biden administration.
The trend has also been driven by an ever growing number of data breaches, including one that affected Big Law firms on their own digital turf.
“For clients across all sectors, data commercialization and privacy compliance are increasingly critical issues, together with cybersecurity preparedness and response,” said Ann LaFrance, co-chair of Squire’s global data practice, in a statement. “Alan has decades of experience guiding clients on how to manage data collection, monetization and protection programs in line with applicable law and sound business judgment.”
Before BakerHostetler, according to his LinkedIn profile, Friel had Big Law stints with firms including, Kaye Scholer, now Arnold Porter Kaye Scholer, and Katten Muchin & Zavis, with became Katten Muchin Rosenman after a 2002 combination. He also spent two years as general counsel for Digital Entertainment Network, the online bio said.
Friel said in a statement that he looks forward to leveraging Squire Patton Boggs’ “global strength in closely related practice groups” to privacy and security, including IP, litigation, and government investigations.
He also said he’s looking to bolster diversity efforts at the firm.
“As an open LGBT professional who for many years has worked to defend LGBT rights and improve support and retention efforts for diverse lawyers, the commitment of Squire Patton Boggs to reflect the communities we serve is very important to me, and I look forward to supporting the Firm’s diversity and inclusion programs,” he said.
Other Big Law firms have made moves to deepen their privacy and security benches in recent weeks.
Mayer Brown announced on Feb. 16 that privacy lawyer Vivek Mohan had joined the firm as a partner in its cybersecurity and data privacy practice in Northern California. He joined the firm from Apple Inc., where he served as head of information security law. The same day Gibson Dunn said it rehired S. Ashlie Beringer, Facebook Inc.'s deputy general counsel, as a partner and co-chair of its privacy, cybersecurity and data innovation practice group.
Also on Feb. 16, Goodwin Procter said it had recruited privacy and cybersecurity partner Boris Segalis as co-chair of its privacy and cybersecurity practice in New York from Cooley, where he’d worked for about three years as partner and vice chair of its cyber and data privacy practice, according to his LinkedIn page.