04 Feb 2020

Orrick hires duo from PwC in London cybersecurity swoop

US firm cites dramatic change in regulatory enforcement as driver for double hire


Orrick has boosted its London cybersecurity capability with the hire of Keily Blair and James Lloyd from Big Four accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as partners. Blair, who headed up PwC’s contentious data protection practice, has experience gained at fellow US law firm Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) as well as magic circle law firm Allen & Overy, where she honed her experience in regulatory and commercial disputes before joining MoFo in 2008.

Lloyd, who is an expert in best practice in data and analytics, has a strong background in information technology.

With experience spanning City regulators, such as the Financial Conduct Authority, white-collar criminal prosecutors, including the Serious Fraud Office and the United States Department of Justice, as well as investigators, such as police forces, the pair can advise on the criminal side of data compliance.

The bedrock of their civil work will be managing the expectations of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and any subsequent investigations, or litigation that follows data breaches, having also been instructed by the agency to conduct such investigations.  

The move is aimed at complementing Orrick's US practice. Doug Meal, head of cyber and privacy litigation and enforcement, said: “The UK and EU markets are on the cusp of enormous demand for this kind of support given the dramatic changes in the regulatory enforcement and private litigation landscape.” 

Blair said her move to Orrick came “at a tipping-point moment in the UK and EU”. She said she was looking to work with the firm’s clients and fellow lawyers in developing the practice further; a point underscored by Orrick chairman Mitch Zuklie, who said the move was a targeted investment: “Building out this capability globally is a top strategic priority for us as we focus on helping our clients innovate.”

Cybersecurity has been an active area for US and UK law firms, presaging the findings of Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2019 Litigation Trends survey, which found that such risks were highest in mind among corporate counsel respondents in terms of reputational and regulatory risk.

The hires follow a sequence of partner arrivals at Orrick’s London office last year, including Ed Lukins, who joined from Cooley, James Connor, (Simpson Thacher), and Daniel Wayte (Milbank).