200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166-0193 USA
Alexander H. Southwell is one of the nation’s leading technology-focused litigators and investigations lawyers and is regularly called upon by numerous leading global companies to counsel on — as well as handle investigations, enforcement defense, and litigation related to — a wide array of privacy, data breach, information technology and governance, theft of trade secrets, computer fraud, advertising and marketing practices, and network and data security issues. A partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s New York office, Mr. Southwell founded and co-chairs the Firm’s Chambers-ranked Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Data Innovation Practice Group and is a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigation, Litigation, Crisis Management, and Artificial Intelligence Practice Groups. Mr. Southwell is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) through the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
Mr. Southwell regularly advises emerging companies to global enterprises across all market sectors that experienced data breaches, security incidents, or were victimized by cyber-crimes and he has deep expertise counseling on broad issues under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Economic Espionage Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and related federal and state computer fraud and consumer protection statutes. He also regularly counsels clients on compliance with the full range of US and international privacy and data protection laws and regulations, including online privacy, financial privacy, medical privacy, educational privacy, telecommunications and marketing, and workplace privacy, as well as product counseling and global regulatory strategies.
He often leads the defense of regulatory investigations from the Federal Trade Commission, State Attorneys General, and other federal, state, and local regulators and criminal authorities. Mr. Southwell has particular expertise advising on FTC order compliance, selecting and working with Assessors, and handling FTC 6(b) studies. He additionally counsels companies on privacy and security risks related to data-driven product development, including in cutting-edge areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud deployment, dark pattern allegations, and data innovation, and related to compliance with international, national, state, and local privacy and cybersecurity laws and regulations. Mr. Southwell also is regularly retained to lead privacy and data security and technology class actions and litigations around the country.
In addition, Mr. Southwell handles a range of white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement defense, internal investigation, and compliance matters, and regularly leads complex civil litigations. An experienced trial and appellate attorney, prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Southwell served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York where he focused on cyber-crimes and intellectual property offenses, in addition to securities and commodities and other white collar frauds.
Mr. Southwell is ranked as one of the top five attorneys nationwide for Privacy & Data Security Litigation by Chambers USA and Chambers Global and is also ranked for White Collar Litigation by Chambers, which notes his “keen eye for attention to detail, client service and navigating a complex legal and regulatory landscape.” A client notes: “Alex is tremendous. If you’ve got an issue that is a paramount crisis and going to break the company, Alex is who you should turn to. He is top notch, savvy and he understands what you need.” Recognized as a “Leading Individual” in Gibson Dunn’s ranking in the 2021 Global Data Review GDR 100 Elite, he has also been twice named a Law360 “MVP” in Privacy – one of five “elite attorneys” recognized – for his “successes in high-stakes litigation.” Additionally, Mr. Southwell was selected as a Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, and has been recognized as one of the top 30 Data Protection Lawyers in Euromoney Expert Guides’ Best of the Best USA, and named as one of the 30 best and brightest data breach response lawyers in Cybersecurity Docket’s “Incident Response 30.” In addition, he is recognized as a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation, as a leading lawyer in the area of Criminal Defense: White Collar by The Best Lawyers in America©, and as one of the world’s leading investigations lawyers by Who’s Who Legal: Investigations.
Mr. Southwell earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Princeton University and his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law. Following law school, Mr. Southwell was a Law Clerk for the Honorable Naomi Reice Buchwald of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Mr. Southwell serves on Gibson Dunn’s Technology Committee and was appointed to the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles and the Law and the New York City Bar Association’s Task Force on Digital Technologies, serving as Co-Chair of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Data Protection. He has previously served on the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Committee on Information Technology Law, Professional Responsibility Committee, and Government Ethics Committee, and has been active with the Federal Bar Council. In addition, Mr. Southwell serves, and has served, on the Legal Advisory Board of the NYU Center for Cybersecurity, the Board of Advisors of the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham Law School, the Advisory Board of the Cybersecurity Law Institute at Georgetown University Law Center and the Cybersecurity Research Institute at University of California, Irvine School of Law. Mr. Southwell has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, teaching a seminar on cyber-crimes, covering computer misuse crimes, intellectual property offenses, the Fourth Amendment in cyber-space, computer evidence at trial, data breach and privacy issues, and information security, among other areas.
New York University - 1997 Juris Doctor
Princeton University - 1993 Bachelor of Arts
New York Bar