Top Privacy & Cybersecurity Attorney Ed McNicholas Joins Ropes & Gray in Washington, D.C.

May 1, 2019

Global law firm Ropes & Gray today announced that Edward R. McNicholas, a preeminent privacy and cybersecurity attorney, has joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as partner and co-leader of its multifaceted data practice group.

In a constantly evolving legal landscape that includes heightened awareness of information and data protection risks, Mr. McNicholas’s arrival reflects Ropes & Gray’s continued focus on its clients’ most critical data, privacy and cybersecurity needs. His experience immediately and significantly enhances the firm’s privacy and cybersecurity offering of litigation, enforcement, and compliance counseling. Mr. McNicholas has cultivated a practice that includes personal information breaches, board investigations, worldwide compliance programs, securities matters, and investigations by the FTC and other government agencies, and foreign privacy regulators. He regularly advises clients as they identify and mitigate data-related risks and develop governance programs to leverage and protect critical data assets.

“Ed understands how advances in technology have changed today’s global business environment,” said Rohan Massey, a Ropes & Gray partner and co-leader of the group. “He brings an outstanding record of counseling clients in complex privacy and cybersecurity matters, finding practical ways to address issues and implement solutions. This experience makes him an asset to our clients.”

Mr. McNicholas joins Ropes & Gray from Sidley Austin LLP. There, he previously co-led the firm’s global privacy and cybersecurity practice. Prior to that, he served as an Associate Counsel to President Clinton at the White House where he advised senior officials, defended the White House during investigations by various Independent Counsels, the DOJ Campaign Financing Task Force, congressional committees, and private interest groups. A recognized leader in privacy and cybersecurity law, Mr. McNicholas is a Chambers-ranked privacy and data security lawyer (USA and Global), and in 2016, he was honored by the National Law Journal as a “Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer.”

“I am honored and excited to join Ropes & Gray and its internationally recognized data practice group,” Mr. McNicholas said. “The firm’s broad industry knowledge, paired with a seminal role in shaping cybersecurity law, significantly differentiates Ropes & Gray. Fundamentally, Ropes & Gray’s demonstrated, A-List commitment to bringing every person and every discipline to the table is what attracted me to the firm, and I know that the strength of that diversity is beneficial to our clients.”

Mr. McNicholas received his A.B. from Princeton University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude. During law school, he served as editor and Supreme Court editor of volumes 108 and 109, respectively, of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Ropes & Gray’s award winning data practice has been recognized by the Financial Times and Chambers, and Law360 named it “Practice Group of the Year” last year. The 100-member global team spans a number of practice areas at the firm, and across all of the firm’s geographies, and aims to provide focused services responsive to today’s greatly increased value of data as an asset, as well as the greatly increased risk of data as a liability under regulations affecting individuals, businesses and governments worldwide. The team offers sophisticated legal counsel on privacy and cybersecurity issues to the world’s leading investment companies and public companies, especially in health care, life sciences, financial services, asset management (including hedge funds, private equity funds and mutual funds), and higher education. Mr. McNicholas will be joining a veteran team of leading practitioners in this space, including long-time privacy and cybersecurity litigators Mark Szpak, Richard Batchelder, and Chong Park, data protection and privacy lawyer Rohan Massey, leading transactional lawyers Ed Black and Dave McIntosh, highly experienced healthcare lawyers Debbie Gersh and Tim McCrystal, and asset management lawyers Laurel FitzPatrick, Paulita Pike and Elizabeth Reza.

“Together, we offer clients an unparalleled global team,” said Mr. McNicholas.