Earlier this week, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) invalidated the Safe Harbor framework between the United States and the European Union -- effective immediately. This alert offers insight into this decision and how it will significantly disrupt the flow of data from Europe to the U.S. and have a major impact on U.S.-EU trade.
Recent events have focused a spotlight on issues where online technology, payment and privacy issues converge. These include Amazon’s release of a new smartphone, Apple’s announcement of a “virtual wallet” payment system, and the recently disclosed privacy breaches of Apple’s iCloud and Home Depot’s payment systems. Companies developing new technology in this area must be more cognizant than ever on privacy laws and regulations applicable to their development and use of such technologies. Tis article reviews applicable laws and regulations and how those laws might impact these and other online payment systems that may be developed in the near future.
A discussion on best practices for data encryption and how a recent report issued by the California Attorney General’s office will substantially raise the standard of such practices.
The firm’s employment attorneys represent employers and executives in a variety of litigation and counseling matters both in the United States and in France.
In the United States, Cohen & Gresser employment attorneys represent clients in state and federal court actions; other forums such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights; court monitorships; and investigations. We also counsel employers and executives on a wide range of contractual and business matters, including employment, privacy, and social media policies and incident response plans.
In France, Cohen & Gresser employment attorneys have significant experience in counseling French and international employers and top managers/executives, as well as representing them in litigation relating to various employment and labor-related issues, including individual and collective relations. Our Paris attorneys also represent companies on all employment law aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and restructurings and provide advice on status, remuneration, and social coverage of top management/executives and corporate officers.
We assist clients in a wide range of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital financing, fund formation, corporate governance, and securities law compliance. Our attorneys represent public companies, early-stage and late-stage private companies, venture capital and private equity funds, hedge funds, and investment banks. Our clients are involved in (among other things) financial services, technology (hardware, software, and technology services), life sciences (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology, and healthcare ), oil & gas, consumer products, construction, manufacturing, real property, and the restaurant industry.
We also serve as outside general counsel to a number of privately held companies and regularly counsel publicly and privately held clients on executive compensation and employment issues.
Litigation and Arbitration
The firm handles major cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts, before government agencies, and in a wide variety of domestic and international arbitration settings. Our experience in civil litigation covers a number of substantive areas, including antitrust and unfair competition, bankruptcy litigation and counseling, class action defense, commercial disputes, directors and officers litigation, employment, healthcare litigation, partnership disputes, products liability, real estate litigation, and securities litigation.
Our attorneys have significant experience handling appeals before federal and state appellate courts across the country and regularly represent organizations as amicus curiae in appellate matters presenting legal questions with broad policy implications. The firm has successfully handled appeals in cases where we represented a party in the lower court and in cases where we have specifically been brought in for our appellate proficiency. Our attorneys have clerked for judges on numerous federal district and appellate courts.
With every dispute, in any forum, we offer thoughtful counseling before a decision is made to litigate, and we have substantial experience in negotiating favorable pre-litigation settlements for our clients where appropriate.
If a pre-litigation settlement is not feasible or advisable, we are skilled at using the pretrial process to put our cases in the best posture for disposition by motion, settlement, or trial. Our litigators are first-rate trial lawyers: we have successfully handled hundreds of trials, arbitration hearings, and administrative procedures in state and federal courts across the country and in every major type of arbitration forum. We have an outstanding record in high-stakes, high-profile litigation, including cases involving claimed damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Our trial experience helps us manage the discovery process efficiently and cost-effectively by keeping the focus on the facts that will advance our claims or defenses at trial. And that same focus — along with our intensity, creativity, and negotiating skill — helps us settle cases on excellent terms.
Our litigation and arbitration team has been recognized in leading rankings publications. Legal 500 described the firm’s strong commitment to client service and praised us as “one of the best mid-sized firms.” It also noted that the firm “differentiates itself by the creativity and flexibility it brings to its work, enabling it to handle disputes across an incredibly wide number of subject areas.” Chambers recognized the firm’s strong financial litigation practice, and noted that our attorneys “put themselves in their clients' shoes and use litigation as a tool to advance their clients' causes or solve their problems in a creative, efficient and cost-effective manner.”
Intellectual Property and Technology
Cohen & Gresser handles a wide range of intellectual property and technology matters. Our litigators have experience in patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and unfair competition litigation and advise clients on internet privacy issues, data security, and technology law. Our transactional lawyers protect our clients’ patents, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and trade secrets; manage trademark portfolios; and negotiate and draft a broad range of licensing and technology-related agreements.
Our Chambers and Legal 500-recognized Commercial Litigation group represents clients in a broad range of complex commercial, business, and financial disputes in districts throughout the United States and in the international arena. We represent clients in lawsuits involving contract disputes, derivatives claims, breach of contract, shareholder disputes, fraud, tortious interference complaints, professional malpractice claims, unfair business practices, and private equity transactions. Our clients span multiple industries, including finance, software and technology, hospitality, and real estate.
Our attorneys employ their extensive trial experience to bring a strategic approach to each claim. We offer thoughtful counseling, and we scrupulously research each matter and are prepared to effectively and vigorously defend our clients at trial. We have successfully handled numerous trials, arbitration hearings, and administrative procedures in state and federal courts across the country and in every major type of arbitration forum. We have an outstanding record in high-stakes, high-profile litigation, including cases involving claimed damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Our licensing lawyers represent clients in developing, commercializing, and transferring intellectual property rights, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property assets. We represent companies at all stages of growth, from established companies in the telecommunications, IT, financial services, and consumer products sectors to start-up software vendors, Internet presences, and website developers.
In addition to serving as a day-to-day resource on licensing issues, we assist clients in developing business plans, licensing models, and intellectual property portfolio strategies. Examples of the types of transactions we have experience structuring and negotiating:
Some of the matters handled by our attorneys:
Due Diligence and Corporate Support
Our Intellectual Property and Technology lawyers provide a full range of services and counseling in connection with corporate transactions. We evaluate third-party patent and trademark holdings for possible acquisition, conduct due diligence assessments on intellectual property aspects of mergers and acquisitions, and negotiate agreements transferring title and rights to intellectual property. We also advise clients on technology-related risk analysis within the context of corporate transactions.
In collaboration with the firm’s other practice groups, we also advise technology companies on a broad range of “life cycle” issues, including formation, seed and venture capital, financing, private and public equity, mergers and acquisitions, real property acquisition and lease negotiation, litigation, and compensation and employment matters.
Privacy and Data Security
As the online marketplace continues to grow, companies throughout the world are facing increasingly strict – and often inconsistent – regulations regarding the acquisition, use, and protection of personal information.
Our global privacy, data protection, and data security attorneys advise clients on a broad range of privacy and data protection matters, including developing and implementing privacy policies and procedures, privacy-related litigation, regulatory investigations, global compliance, cross-border data transfers, website terms and conditions, social media and other new information technologies, cybersecurity and network intrusion issues, and contractual matters involving privacy and security. We also counsel clients on compliance with regulations such as the TCPA, COPPA, HIPAA, GLBA, and Privacy Shield in the United States and the 95/46/CE Directive and GDPR on privacy and data protection and domestic implementation legislation in European countries. We advise companies in the technology, financial services, telecommunications, consumer products, e-commerce, media, professional services, and healthcare sectors, and help clients develop risk management and privacy and data use policies in compliance with state, national, and international regulatory legislation. Our attorneys conduct privacy and data security due diligence on M&A transactions, including those with cross-border components, negotiate technology license agreements, and assist with cybersecurity audits, cyber-insurance evaluations, and employee security training.
Our group includes attorneys who have achieved designation as Certified Information Privacy Professionals, including in both the U.S. and the E.U., and as a Certified Information Privacy Technologist by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as well as those with advanced degrees in computer information science and engineering. Our attorneys are tech-savvy and have an extensive understanding of privacy and data use legislation on a global scale. They are experienced in guiding clients through data breaches and any resulting litigation and internal investigations, helping them mitigate loss and unfavorable public opinion.
Life Sciences Transactions
Our transactional attorneys have significant experience representing companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, and healthcare fields in acquisitions, mergers, divestitures, financings, joint ventures, internal restructuring, and licensing and development agreements. We also provide ongoing advice on matters ranging from employment to privacy and data security to corporate governance to intellectual property protection and exploitation.
On these engagements, our corporate attorneys work closely with our intellectual property group and our other attorneys with relevant backgrounds to ensure that our clients receive the most comprehensive and creative advice possible. A number of our attorneys hold advanced and undergraduate degrees covering each of the major scientific disciplines, including an attorney who is also a licensed medical doctor.
Employment Law – U.S.
The firm’s U.S.-based Employment Litigation and Counseling group advocates for employers and executives in state and federal court actions as well as before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights. We have successfully handled matters centering on restrictive covenants, trade secrets, wrongful termination, discrimination, wages and benefits, and whistleblowing and retaliation claims.
Our attorneys also have significant experience counseling employers and executives on contractual and business matters. We regularly provide advice regarding reductions in force, separation and termination, employment contracts, executive compensation, confidentiality agreements, restrictive covenants, consulting and work for hire agreements, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and ERISA litigation. We also counsel employers on employment policies and practices to help our clients limit risk, avoid litigation, and increase efficiencies, including drafting employment handbooks, social media and privacy policies, and incident response plans.
The firm was also appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to monitor the Fire Department of New York and is helping address its hiring and employment practices, including overseeing the recruitment, testing, hiring, training, and promotion of entry-level firefighters.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Our corporate lawyers have deep experience in mergers and acquisitions and regularly represent buyers and sellers in negotiated acquisitions and sales of privately and publicly held companies and businesses. We have cultivated an understanding of client perspectives and goals that helps us to identify issues early in the process and devise practical solutions consistent with our clients’ business strategies.
Our attorneys regularly handle stock and asset purchases, mergers, management buyouts, leveraged acquisitions, cross-border transactions, and roll-up transactions. We also represent companies and shareholders in the purchase and sale of minority and controlling interests and counsel clients in connection with acquisition financing.
Our clients include private equity firms as well as strategic buyers and sellers. We represent clients in the consumer products, energy, entertainment, insurance, banking, financial services, computer software and technology, biotechnology, healthcare, automotive and transportation, luxury products, fashion and cosmetics, travel, telecommunications, e-commerce, retail, beverages, advertising, and print media industries. We are well versed in the markets in which our clients operate, allowing us to maintain a commercial approach that maximizes efficiency, reduces costs, and enhances deal execution. Our M&A practice in France was recently recognized in the 2016 and 2017 editions of The Legal 500 and in the 2017 edition of Chambers Europe.