Privacy and Data Security

GT’s Privacy & Data Security Initiative is a multidisciplinary group of attorneys and professionals dedicated to developing strategies to address privacy, data security and information management issues, including:


  • Privacy audits, policies and procedures
  • Data security and PCI compliance
  • Employee privacy
  • Record retention/electronic discovery
  • International/cross-border data transfer
  • Data breach readiness and response
  • Litigation and dispute resolution


Our experience encompasses the full array of legislation and regulations, including:

  • Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
  • Consumer Fraud and Abuse Act
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)
  • CAN-SPAM Act
  • State data breach notification laws
  • Global privacy and data protection laws
  • Industry standards
  • Self-regulation

Privacy Audits, Policies and Procedures

  • Develop privacy polices, consumer notices and necessary “opt-outs” or “opt-ins,” as required by federal and state law, for national banks, investment advisors, mortgage lenders, national and regional retailers, insurance enterprise affiliates and other clients
  • Negotiate and advise clients regarding joint ventures, marketing alliances and information sharing among affiliates and unaffiliated entities

Data Security and PCI Compliance

  • Advise clients regarding data security compliance and risk management
  • Develop and implement comprehensive data security policies, procedures and training programs, including payment card industry (PCI) compliance programs
  • Evaluate obligations in outsourcing agreements and negotiate vendor and service provider agreements
  • Develop and implement identity theft programs and procedures, including the Red Flag program required by FACTA

Employee Privacy

  • Advise employers regarding privacy rights as they relate to workplace communications, such as interception of e-mail and telephone calls, and employee workspaces
  • Represent employers in employee litigation alleging invasion of privacy or violation of privacy laws
  • Develop and implement personnel policies governing protection of employee data

Record Retention/Electronic Discovery

  • Determine minimum data retention requirements
  • Develop and implement data retention policies
  • Evaluate the risk of storing data beyond legally prescribed periods
  • Counsel on and assist clients in responding to electronic discovery requests in litigation


  • Counsel clients on privacy and information security-related matters around the world (GT has offices in Amsterdam, London* and Shanghai; and a strategic alliance with the independent law firm Studio Santa Maria in Milan and Rome)
  • Counsel clients concerning privacy and data security issues under the EU Data Protection Directive and its varied implementation by EU member states
  • Counsel multinational clients on the US-EU Safe Harbor Agreement relating to the EU Directive and on compliance alternatives to the Safe Harbor, including contractual arrangements and binding corporate rules

International/Cross-Border Data Transfer

  • Working with the attorneys in our foreign offices and strategic alliance firms, advise clients regarding compliance with global data protection laws, including the EU Data Directive and U.S. Safe Harbor Program
  • Draft and negotiate contracts relating to cross-border data flow to ensure compliance with applicable local country data and security laws and regulations

Data Breach Readiness and Response

  • Develop and implement data breach contingency response programs
  • Assist clients with notifications and coordination of criminal and civil responses following a data breach

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

  • Represent clients in cases involving privacy and property rights, file sharing, the Internet, spamming, spoofing, phishing, cybersquatting and identity theft
  • Represent employers in litigation alleging invasion of privacy, wiretapping and violations of electronic communication privacy

eCommerce and Technology

  • Counsel clients on compliance with laws governing eCommerce and the Internet
  • Develop and negotiate privacy provisions in licensing agreements and other contracts and prepare privacy notices and policies

Health Care

  • Evaluate special requirements governing the collection, use and transmittal of individually identifiable health information in the health care industry
  • Counsel clients concerning the implementation of policies compliant with HIPAA, the European Union Directive on
  • Data Protection/US-EU Safe Harbor Agreement and the expanding number of state laws governing health privacy

Financial Services

  • Counsel financial service providers about GLBA privacy requirements regarding collection and use of nonpublic personal information
  • For GLBA-covered entities, design privacy notices, determine permissible disclosures and draft appropriate agreements with joint marketers and service providers

Employee Privacy

  • Employers’ obligations to properly collect, handle and use information about their employees may be overlooked, particularly by those companies with operations overseas, where the legal requirements are strict and sometimes carry criminal penalties
  • Advise employers regarding workplace communications, such as interception of e-mail and telephone calls, and employee workspaces
  • Develop and implement personnel policies governing protection of employee information
  • Represent employers in litigation alleging invasion of privacy, wiretapping and violations of electronic communication privacy

*Operates as Greenberg Traurig Maher, LLP.

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At Greenberg Traurig, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The individual attorneys at Greenberg Traurig are committed to nurturing diversity throughout the firm and creating an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively.

For us, diversity is about taking action - opening doors for lawyers.

That commitment is reflected by the fact that overall, 40 percent of Greenberg Traurig's attorneys worldwide are women or minorities as defined by the American Bar Association. As of Dec. 31, 2014, our U.S. employees, including attorneys and staff, who met the definition of minority persons reflected a total of 29 percent of our employment base. Approximately 32 percent of our U.S. attorneys and 52 percent of our U.S. employees are women.

Greenberg Traurig's commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond any single committee. Committees cannot nurture; they cannot mentor; they cannot create an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively. Committees do not lead. Our diverse attorneys however, can and do.

* We welcome and reflect the communities we represent better than any other major law firm in our markets.

* We do not simply rely on a "committee" to achieve this.

* We do so through a commitment to providing a fair opportunity for each of us to reach our full potential.

* We have the personal dedication of many at Greenberg Traurig who identify and bring into our firm this very special diversity.

* The Minority Law Journal 2014 Diversity Scorecard has recognized us as follows:
o No. 1 Ranking, African American Partners
o No. 1 Ranking, Hispanic American Non-Partners
o No. 2 Ranking, Hispanic American Partners

* The National Law Journal has previously recognized our attorneys as among:
o No. 2 Ranking, Female Partner Numbers, Female Scorecard (2013)
o "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" (Three) (2008)
o "The 50 Most Influential Women Attorneys" (Two) (2007)
o "The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America"
(Two diverse attorneys; three total) (2006)

Diversity in Action: Fostering Diversity in the Profession and Preserving the Pipeline

Greenberg Traurig's Diversity Leadership Community has initiatives that focus on fostering an environment within the firm that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion, and increasing diversity in the profession by increasing access to a legal education for minority students. Helping today's law students and lawyers become tomorrow's business and legal leaders means a larger, more diverse marketplace and a greater pool of talented professionals. And that means more business opportunities for everyone - our firm, our colleagues and, most importantly, our clients.
In this way, our approach to diversity and inclusion mandates a high-level of personal responsibility with regard to the recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys. Attorneys in recruiting, hiring and supervisory roles are continuously made aware of the progress of our efforts. Our personal approach to diversity and inclusion means that Greenberg Traurig lawyers are active at their alma maters and at law schools local to their offices, participating in such programs as career panels; "Meet the Employer" days; and mock interviews, among others.

It has been, and continues to be, our goal to create a well-balanced workforce that contains a significant presence of minorities and women.

Greenberg Traurig creates and supports partner programs with women, minority, gay/lesbian or disability-focused bar associations. We attend and sponsor events at these organizations regularly throughout the United States. The firm works closely with national and local minority bars to address the fostering of diversity and inclusion in the profession on many levels. We support the work of several organizations, including MCCA, NAPABA, NASABA, NBA, NLGBTBA, HRC, HNBA and others.

Additionally, we provide funding through the Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation for lawyers and law students to work with public interest groups. Through the Foundation, Greenberg Traurig serves as the largest sponsor of Equal Justice Works Fellowships in the United States and has invested approximately $8 million to support, in whole or in part, almost 127 Equal Justice Works Fellows since 1999.

We invite clients to join us as we work towards:

* Cultivating strategic partnerships with clients and potential clients to leverage our diversity platform to create and deepen relationships and cultivate business opportunities.

* Encouraging our lawyers to facilitate opportunities for our diverse and women lawyers to develop relationships with clients before and after new matters are received.

* Broadening the pipeline of diverse attorneys by expanding relationships with minority bar associations and other legal diversity organizations through our combined support of these networks.

* Focusing on strengthening mentoring programs for female and diverse attorneys at every level.

* Instituting a program that provides a variety of mentoring, rainmaking and training opportunities that can be accessed by a wide range of diverse attorneys across a variety of underserved communities.

* Engaging our Affinity Groups and their allies as a forum for professional development and business development opportunities, as well as for recruiting and retention assistance and as a social exchange to promote inclusion.

Diversity in Action: Employee Resource Networks

Greenberg Traurig's Employee Resource Networks (Affinity Groups) have the goal of addressing the needs of our attorneys and professionals who are diverse. We support Affinity Groups for our attorneys who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, LGBT and women, and we continue to gauge opportunities to expand those groups as our needs and demographics dictate.

The firm's Affinity Groups are as follows:

* African American Affinity Group

* Asian Pacific American Affinity Group

* Hispanic American Affinity Group

* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group

* South Asian American Affinity Group

* Women's Initiative

Our goals include:

* Mentoring of junior attorneys within the specific group;

* Recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys;

* Active participation in organizations addressing specific groups; and

* Serving as a forum for group members to discuss and explore issues and opportunities that will add value to client relationships.

Women's Initiative

As an example of our approach, Greenberg Traurig's firm-wide Women's Initiative focuses on retaining and supporting women attorneys through professional development and work/life balance initiatives, as well as through business development training programs and networking opportunities.

We work with like-minded organizations to address these issues on a broader scale in a variety of industries and communities.

Our program targets:

* Attracting and retaining talented women attorneys.

* Supporting business development for women attorneys.

* Serving as industry leaders.

* Impacting the community through leadership and service.

* Maintaining a culture that benefits women attorneys.

Diversity in Action: Suppliers

Greenberg Traurig is committed to the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Small Business Enterprises (DBE & SBE) suppliers.

As such:

* All business concerns, large and small, majority- or minority-owned, are afforded an equal opportunity to compete.

* A national director of procurement within the firm supports this practice.

* We are committed to diversity with respect to our vendors and suppliers.

* We are amenable to using diverse vendors and suppliers recommended by clients.

Diversity from the Top Down

Cesar L. Alvarez, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig, leads our diversity efforts. This is a matter of personal responsibility for him, having entered the U.S. as an immigrant with humble beginnings.

He has previously been honored as follows:

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Hispanic National Bar Foundation

* "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "Top Most Powerful Hispanics," The Black Book of Poder

* "25 Best Latinos in Business," Hispanic Magazine, The Power Issue

* "President's Award of Merit for Diversity Efforts," The Florida Bar

* "Spirit of Excellence Award," ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Chambers USA Awards for Excellence

* "CEO of the Year" award, Multicultural Law Magazine

* "Attorney of the Year Award," Hispanic National Bar Association


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