Leslie A. Thornton
Leslie advises academic medical centers, technology and biotechnology companies, universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and other health- and research-focused organizations on a broad range of compliance, regulatory, and transactional issues.
Before rejoining the health care group, Leslie was senior health privacy counsel at a publicly traded, global consumer technology company, where she supported the company’s health research initiatives, working directly with business and engineering teams to design privacy solutions for related products and services.
Prior to law school, Leslie completed doctoral studies at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has experience as an academic researcher in both public health and psychiatric settings, including extensive training in advanced statistical and epidemiologic methods.
- Research. Provides ongoing assistance to entities conducting or otherwise supporting research (human, animal, bench), including research development and contracting issues, federal grants and contracts matters, human subjects and animal protections, research misconduct, foreign influence, government audits and investigations, research compliance program design and implementation, and inter-institutional research issues.
- Digital Health/Health Tech. Provides ongoing support to clients in the digital health and health tech space, including development and implementation of app- and web-based health initiatives and remote research, as well as legal issues arising from the application of novel technologies/devices in health care (e.g., artificial intelligence/machine learning).
- Privacy and Security. Provides ongoing advice to a range of clients regarding health care privacy and security matters, including implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as well as related responses to security breaches and incidents under federal and state law.
- Health Care Operations. Provides ongoing regulatory and transactional advice to various health care entities, including contract development and negotiation, and corporate formation and governance for both traditional and non-traditional entity structures.
- Other Representative Experience.
- Completed full-time secondments within the research and development legal divisions of two different pharmaceutical/device manufacturers.
- Provided CIA implementation assistance to several large health care entities.
- Advised academic medical center on development of telemedicine/telehealth program, including physician licensure requirements across state lines.
- Assisted managed care plan in a comprehensive policy gap analysis.
- Pro Bono. Maintains active pro bono practice, including (1) representing client seeking federal disability benefits, including appearances before ALJ and submission of brief to federal Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration; (2) evaluating case files from the Innocence Project’s Intake Department to identify incarcerated persons who may qualify for Innocence Project representation; and (3) assisting with contract negotiation on behalf of non-profit school providing study abroad opportunities to low income students.
- Profiled, “Apple Senior Counsel Rejoins Ropes & Gray,” California Daily Journal (August 9, 2021)
- Profiled, “As Tech and Life Sciences Client Demand Hits All-Time High, Big Law Firms Accelerate Lateral Hires,” The Recorder, The American Lawyer and Law.com (August 4, 2021)
- Profiled, “Apple health privacy lawyer returns to Ropes & Gray,”Reuters (August 3, 2021)
- Co-author, “GDPR Complicates Admissions Applications for U.S. Universities,” Bloomberg BNA’s Privacy Law Watch (June 27, 2018)
- Co-author, “Final Guidelines on Consent Requirements Under the EU General Data Protection Regulation: Implications for Scientific Research,” Bloomberg BNA’s Life Sciences Law & Industry Report (April 30, 2018)
- Co-author, “New Draft Guidelines on GDPR Consent Requirement’s Application to Scientific Research,” Bloomberg BNA’s Medical Law & Research Policy Report (January 17, 2018)
- Co-author, “FDA Eases Burdens on Expanded Access Use,” Bloomberg BNA’s Medical Research Law & Policy Report (November 15, 2017)
- Co-author, “Using Biospecimens Collected Abroad in Future Research: Key Considerations,” Bloomberg BNA’s Medical Research Law & Policy Report (April 19, 2017)
- Co-author, “Recent Changes in French Law Affecting Clinical Research and Trials,” Bloomberg BNA Medical Research Law & Policy Report (February 15, 2017)
- Speaker, “Clinical Trials and Human Research: Complying With New Regulatory Obligations,” Strafford Webinar (January 17, 2018)
- Speaker, “Complying With the EU GDPR Requirements in Clinical Trials,” Ropes & Gray Roundtable Discussion (December 2017)
- Presenter, “Federal Grants: What You Need to Know About the New OMB Rules,” Boston Bar Association (December 10, 2014)
- Speaker, “FDA & Regulatory Issues Facing Medical and Lifestyle Devices and Apps,” Ropes & Gray West Coast Lunchtime Legal Briefing Teleconference (October 2014)
- Presenter, “Telemedicine: Virtual Care Creates Real Fraud and Abuse Risks for Hospitals,” AHLA (September 8, 2014)
- JD, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, 2012; supervising editor, California Law Review
- PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009; Delta Omega; Johnson & Johnson Community Healthcare Scholar
- BA (Psychology and Flute Performance), summa cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles, 2004; Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions / Qualifications
- California, 2012