Avi Gesser Joins Debevoise as Partner in the Cybersecurity and White Collar Groups

21 January 2020

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP announced today that Avi Gesser has joined the firm’s New York office as a partner in the Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Group and the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group.

Mr. Gesser brings to the firm extensive experience advising major companies on a wide range of data, cybersecurity and incident response matters, including related complex commercial litigation and regulatory defense. He has represented international financial services firms, private equity firms, hedge funds and media organizations throughout full cybersecurity incident cycles.

“Avi is a market leader on the cutting edge data issues faced by major companies, helping them to develop a holistic data strategy that goes beyond privacy and compliance to address how they can optimize their use of data and emerging technologies while managing related risks.  His substantial experience and technical savvy will add to our team’s already deep bench both on data and cyber incident response matters,” said Luke Dembosky, Co-Chair of the Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Group. “Avi’s considerable experience broadens our ability to serve our clients not only on traditional cybersecurity matters, but also technology-centric problems posed by A.I., big data and new technologies.”

Mr. Gesser’s arrival follows that of Lisa Zornberg, who led the Complex Frauds and Cybersecurity Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York before becoming Criminal Division Chief there. Since joining Debevoise in April of 2019 as a partner in the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group, Ms. Zornberg has represented, among others, a prominent financial institution in connection with a cyber incident, as well as a technology company in connection with an inquiry regarding its A.I. practices. Mr. Gesser and Ms. Zornberg strengthen the Group’s capacity to manage a crisis situation following a major cyber incident or other technology-focused investigation.

“We saw a unique opportunity with Avi to add both a thought leader on the myriad data issues faced by our clients and a seasoned breach responder and investigator who can further bolster our cyber crisis response capabilities,” said Presiding Partner Michael Blair. “Our clients increasingly seek seamless, cross-practice solutions, and we look forward to Avi’s contributions to the firm.”

Mr. Gesser said, “I have long admired Debevoise’s commitment to applying the full scope and strength of the firm to help address clients’ needs. As cyber crises continue to grow in complexity and create substantial business, legal and reputational risk, I expect to help the Cybersecurity and White Collar Groups further position themselves as the go-to resources in this area.”

Mr. Gesser has been recognized for his outstanding work throughout his career by legal directories and trade publications, and in 2013 received both The Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award and the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence – Outstanding Criminal Investigation. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Gesser served as Counsel to the Chief of the Fraud Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice. He received his B.S. from the University of Manitoba in 1991, his LL.B. from the University of Manitoba in 1994, his LL.M. from the University of Cambridge in 1995 and his LL.M. from New York University in 1998, where he served as the Graduate Editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics. Prior to his arrival at Debevoise, Mr. Gesser was a partner in the litigation and white collar group at another international law firm.

Debevoise’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Group advises clients globally on a full range of cybersecurity law, cyber incident response, data privacy, data protection and broader data strategy issues. The team, which includes former government cybersecurity prosecutors, civil litigators, transactional lawyers, and white collar and enforcement attorneys, helps clients navigate the forensic and legal aftermath of cyber incidents. The firm’s cross-border, interdisciplinary practice group also offers regulatory counseling, defends clients in government enforcement actions, litigates privacy-related class actions and other matters, and handles transactions and related due diligence where data protection and security issues arise.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges, applying clear commercial judgment and a distinctively collaborative approach.