Goodwin adds privacy lawyers to build 'global destination' practice

Legal offices of the Goodwin Procter law firm in Washington, D.C., U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Goodwin adds Omer Tene of IAPP in Boston
  • Lore Leitner, two associates join from Wilson Sonsini in London

(Reuters) - Goodwin Procter is continuing to expand its privacy and data security group, turning to the International Association of Privacy Professionals and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for two new partner recruits announced on Monday.

Omer Tene, a well-known lawyer in privacy circles, joins Goodwin's Boston office from the IAPP, where he was vice president and chief knowledge officer. Lore Leitner, formerly of counsel at Wilson Sonsini, heads to Goodwin in London along with two associates from her previous firm.

Law firms are aggressively recruiting privacy and cybersecurity lawyers amid a rapidly changing regulatory and legal environment, rising cyberattacks and emerging ways for businesses to use data.

Boston-founded Goodwin called Tene, Leitner and the associates "game-changing hires," noting that 12 data privacy lawyers have joined Goodwin so far this year.

One of those previous hires to the 1,600-lawyer firm was Boris Segalis, who moved with a team of associates from Cooley in February.

Adding the latest recruits "is a huge stepping stone on our path towards building a premier global destination privacy practice," New York-based Segalis said in a statement.

He touted Leitner's expertise on data protection issues in Europe that affect tech, life sciences and emerging companies, as well as Tene's "rare combination" of skills and network of policymakers and regulators.

Before he joined the Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based privacy professionals membership association in 2013, Tene, a former Big Law associate, served as the managing director of Tene & Associates and was an associate professor. Leitner previously practiced at Latham & Watkins before joining Wilson Sonsini in 2018.

Wilson Sonsini didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the team's departure.

Tene will continue to work as a research fellow at IAPP, according to the group.

Caitlin Fennessy is taking over Tene's seat as chief knowledge officer, the organization announced on Monday. She most recently served as the group's research director.

"Omer's remarkable career at the IAPP has paved the way for Caitlin to successfully take on this role as a leader in advancing the knowledge and skills of the privacy profession," J. Trevor Hughes, president and CEO of the IAPP, said in a statement.

Goodwin also announced four other partner hires on Monday.

James Crolle joins the firm's real estate industry practice in Washington, D.C., from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. David Wagner heads to Goodwin's private investment funds practice in New York from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Hong Kong-based lawyers Phil Culhane and Elyn Xing also join the private investment funds team at Goodwin, Culhane from boutique fund formation firm Culhane & Associates, and Xing from Debevoise & Plimpton.

Read more:

Goodwin brings aboard privacy partner as practice co-chair

Loeb & Loeb picks up new privacy co-chair as practice leaders swap firms

Benesch joins growing list of firms with data-focused practice group

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com