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David A. Simon

David A. Simon

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Staying Ahead of the Curve: Cybersecurity and Data Privacy–Hot Topics for Global Businesses


Cybersecurity Book

David Simon is a partner in Mayer Brown's Washington DC office and a member of the global Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice. He is also a member of the firm's National Security and Government Contracts practices. 

A former special counsel at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), David has advised extensively on cutting-edge cybersecurity and national security matters. David focuses his practice on complex and sensitive cybersecurity, defense, intelligence and national security matters, with deep experience advising victims of state-sponsored cyber activity. He counsels companies as they address cyber vulnerabilities and breaches, as well as associated legal, regulatory, and reputational consequences. David has advised companies on major cybersecurity incidents and incident preparedness across virtually every sector of the economy, including the banking, investment management, tech, automotive, healthcare, defense and intelligence, and telecom. In addition, he has significant expertise regarding the evolving cybersecurity and privacy legal framework applicable to the Internet of Things (IoT) and product cybersecurity. David helps companies structure, negotiate and protect their commercial and compliance relationships with key national security government agencies. David also counsels US and foreign clients regarding economic sanctions, asset controls and transactions reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). 

During his time as special counsel in the Pentagon (2011-2015), David advised on the development of a legal and policy framework to address cyber threats, including one of the most destructive cyber attacks against the United States: North Korea’s 2014 cyber attack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. In addition, he advised on broader matters involving cybersecurity policy, plans and operations, as well as autonomous technologies, the use of force, counterterrorism, treaties, sensitive investigations, and regional matters involving China, the Korean Peninsula, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Iran, and Israel. 

David is widely recognized for his experience regarding the legal and policy issues at the intersection of cybersecurity, autonomous technologies, and national security. Recently, he was named a “2017 Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal for helping to “make a difference in the fight against criminal cyber activity and towards adding much needed layers of data security in an increasingly digital world of commerce,” and a 2018 Rising Star of the Law – 40 Under 40 – by DCA Live. He is an Adjunct Fellow in Cybersecurity and International Law at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he served as a member of a Cyber Policy Task Force that developed cybersecurity recommendations for the 45th presidential administration. David is also a Visiting Research Fellow with the College of Information and Cyberspace at the U.S. National Defense University. Currently, David also serves as an independent expert on cybersecurity and international law to the United Nations (UN) Security Council and is a member of the UN Experts Committee regarding the prevention of terrorist exploitation the Internet and related information communications technologies. Previously, David served, at the invitation of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia, as a peer reviewer of the second edition of the “Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare.” He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

A Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar, David graduated from Harvard Law School, where he was an executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and a Heyman Fellow. Prior to attending law school, he received an M.Phil. in International Relations from Trinity College, Oxford, where he debated for the Oxford Union and was the managing editor of the Oxford International Review. David graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Minnesota, where he received a BA in Russian Area Studies.

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