David A. 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.
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.
- Harvard Law School, JD
- Oxford University, MPhil
- University of Minnesota, BA, summa cum laude
- District of Columbia
- Adjunct Fellow in Cybersecurity and International Law, Technology Policy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
- Visiting Research Fellow, College of Information and Cyberspace, National Defense University (NDU)
- Experts Committee Member, UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, United Nations
- Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations
- Lead counsel for national security investigation involving nation-state-sponsored cyber attack on a global technology company. Also lead counsel for associated grand jury proceeding.
- Advised a major U.S. technology company with respect to the legal response to notice by FBI of a nation-state sponsored cyber-campaign allegedly targeting the company.
- Represented global corporations in connection with data security incidents that required analysis of breach reporting obligations under U.S. and international statutes.
- Advise several automobile manufacturers on legal, regulatory, and legislative developments, and litigation related to emerging cyber threats and autonomous technologies.
- Providing strategic counsel to companies in a wide range of industries as they assess their cybersecurity posture and engage with their boards of directors.
- Counsel companies on cybersecurity incidents involving foreign governments, insider threats, and non-state actors, including malicious hacking and cyber terrorism.
- Advise global technology companies regarding management and mitigation of alleged cybersecurity vulnerabilities, including regarding bug bounty programs.
- Counseled companies seeking to improve the legal defensibility of their cybersecurity and privacy policies and procedures.
- Appellate litigation on behalf of certain victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks, addressing foreign sovereign immunity and counter-terrorism laws.
- Advised defense and intelligence contractors on export control compliance matters relating to the performance of classified contracts.
- Counseled large private equity firm on due diligence for transactions involving government contracting, export control, CFIUS and the Defense Security Service (DSS).
- Advised major financial institutions and emerging technology companies on sanctions and export control compliance issues.
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