Webcast: Industrial Espionage and Intellectual Property Theft: Trends and Developments in Threat and Enforcement


September 23, 2021

US companies invest a lot of capital, resources and time in developing valuable technologies and processes. Business competitors – and increasingly government actors or subsidiaries of government actors – are stealing this technology at an alarming rate for economic or national strategic advantage with devastating consequences for US industry and national security. This webcast examines developments in the nature of the risk of theft, including risk from insiders, cyber-burglary, or other means, as well as enforcement trends by the Department of Justice and other government agencies.

A team of national security, cybercrime and litigation professionals with experience both inside and outside the government will share their experience investigating and defending companies that have been victims of trade secret theft and a number of notable recent criminal prosecutions in the Under the Industrial Espionage Act and related laws. We will discuss best practices for minimizing risk in this important area.

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David Burns, a Washington, DC partner and co-chair of the firm’s National Security Practice Group, has held senior positions in both the National Security Division and the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice. As Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, he oversaw the division’s investigations and prosecutions, including counter-terrorism, counter-espionage, industrial espionage, cyber-hacking, FARA, classified disclosure, and sanctions and export control matters. Mr. Burns’ practice focuses on national security, white collar crime defense, internal investigations and government enforcement matters.

Zainab Ahmad, a partner in New York and co-chair of the firm’s National Security Practice Group, previously served as deputy director of national security and cybercrime for the US Attorney’s Office in the eastern borough of New York. Ms. Ahmad is an excellent former prosecutor who has received both the DOJ’s top honors, Attorney General’s Award and FBI Director’s Award and her work in the prosecution of terrorists The New Yorker Magazine. Her practice is international and focuses on cross-border economic defense and investigations, including corruption, anti-money laundering, sanctions and FCPA matters, as well as data protection and cybersecurity matters.

Alexander Southwell, a partner in the New York office and co-chair of the firm’s Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Innovation Practice Group, previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, specializing in Cyber Concentrated crimes and intellectual property violations, in addition to securities and commodities and other economic fraud. Mr. Southwell advises companies and boards of directors in all industries that have been victims of cybercrime and have experienced data breaches, and has particular expertise in matters relating to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Economic Espionage Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and related federal and state laws state computer fraud and consumer protection laws.

Robert Hur, a Washington, DC partner and co-chair of the firm’s Crisis Management Practice Group, was the 48th U.S. Attorney for the Maryland District. During his tenure as US attorney general, the office handled a wide variety of high-level matters, including those related to national security, cybercrime, public corruption, and financial fraud. Prior to joining the US Attorney General, Mr. Hur served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General (“PADAG”) in the Department of Justice, a member of the Department’s senior leadership team, and Principal Advisor to Assistant Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. Mr. Hur assisted in overseeing all components of the department, including the National Security, Criminal, and Civil Departments, all 93 U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was also in regular contact with the White House, committees of Congress, and federal intelligence, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies on behalf of the Justice Department.

Mark Lyon, a partner in Palo Alto and co-chair of the company’s Artificial Intelligence and Automated Systems practice group, has extensive experience representing and advising clients on legal, ethical, regulatory and policy issues arising from emerging technologies. As chairman of the practice group, Mr. Lyon has extensive experience in representing and advising clients on legal, ethical, regulatory and political issues arising from new technologies such as artificial intelligence. As a member of the firm’s data protection, cybersecurity and consumer protection practice group, Mr Lyon has a global focus to support his clients in developing, implementing and reviewing appropriate policies and procedures to comply with applicable data protection and cybersecurity regulations.


This program has been recognized as per the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 1.0 credit hour, of which 1.0 credit hour can be used for professional practice areas.

This course is approved for transition / non-transition points. Lawyers seeking a loan in New York are required to obtain a verification form prior to viewing the archived version of this webcast. Please contact [email protected] to request the MCLE form.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has confirmed this activity has been approved by the State Bar of California for 1.0 hour MCLE credit.

California attorneys can use “self-study” to view the archived version of this webcast. A certificate of attendance is not required for California “self-paced study”.


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