Eric Vandevelde is a litigation partner in Gibson Dunn’s Los Angeles office and a member of its White Collar Defense & Investigations; Privacy, Cybersecurity & Data Innovation; and Intellectual Property practice groups. He is a former federal prosecutor and Deputy Chief of the Cyber & IP Crimes unit, with significant first-chair trial experience and a deep technical background, having obtained a degree in Computer Science from Stanford University and worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley and Latin America. He has been repeatedly ranked by Chambers and recognized by Super Lawyers and the Daily Journal, including as one of the Top 20 Cyber/Artificial Intelligence Lawyers in California.
Eric’s practice focuses on white collar and regulatory enforcement defense, internal investigations, and technology-heavy civil litigation matters, often involving computer/software-related trade secrets, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property. He routinely handles consumer protection investigations by state and federal regulators into allegedly unfair, unlawful, and deceptive practices. Eric is on the forefront of cryptocurrency issues, handling litigation and regulatory investigations for major industry players. He has also represented clients in some of the highest profile, highest stakes cases in the country concerning government demands for corporate data and assistance in connection with criminal and national security-related investigations.
Representative white collar and government investigations matters:
- Representing mobile gaming company in multiple, coordinated consumer protection investigations by state regulators relating to in-app purchases.
- Representing cryptocurrency exchange and DeFi technology platform in coordinated investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
- Representing crypto wallet company on various regulatory issues.
- Representing CEO of mobile messaging company against charges of “cramming,” identity theft, and money laundering.
- Represented leading technology company in coordinated, multi-jurisdiction investigation by 30+ state Attorneys General and multiple District Attorneys’ offices, alongside parallel investigations by DOJ, SEC, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), regarding disclosures to consumers.
- Represented online gaming and daily fantasy sports company in wide-ranging, high-profile criminal and regulatory investigations.
- Represented educational institution in consumer protection investigation by numerous state Attorneys General and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
- Led internal investigation for nutraceutical company, uncovering evidence of fraud through sophisticated digital forensics and recovering $20+ million within days of confronting perpetrators.
- Led internal investigations for numerous other companies, including next generation transportation companies, software developers and other online service providers, and medical device and biotech companies.
- Obtained declinations for financial services executives in connection with “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal.
- Obtained successful resolution for healthcare services provider in nationwide False Claims Act (FCA) investigation by DOJ and the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).
- Obtained successful resolution for home warranty company in state Attorney General investigation.
- Obtained declinations for employees of U.S. defense contractor in DOJ investigation into alleged fraudulent billing practices.
- Obtained successful resolution, with no admission of wrongdoing, for CFO of publicly traded company in parallel SEC and DOJ investigations.
- On pro bono basis, obtained dismissal of all charges against healthcare care provider alleged to have submitted false claims for payment under California’s In-home Support Services health care program.
Representative technology/IP litigation matters:
- Representing Rimini Street, a leading provider of support services for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, in litigations involving claims under the Copyright Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and unfair competition laws.
- Representing AT&T Mobility in lawsuit arising out of alleged theft of cryptocurrency and related cybersecurity issues.
- Represented Machine Zone, a leading mobile game developer, in complex commercial litigation against former datacenter services provider involving allegations of theft of trade secrets, breach of contract, and fraud.
- Represented Amgen in lawsuit involving patent licensing dispute.
- Represented AddOn Networks in copyright infringement, DMCA, and CFAA lawsuit.
- Represented St. Jude Medical in trade secret case involving theft and misuse of confidential information by former employee in company’s research and development arm.
- Represented major retailer in threatened lawsuit regarding the retailer’s website for alleged violations of state wiretap laws and other privacy-related violations across a wide range of industries, including software, hardware, social media, cloud and other online services, retail and luxury goods, health care, biotech and other life sciences, telecom, transportation, and private equity, Eric has helped numerous clients identify and manage cybersecurity and privacy risks, including in the following areas:
Cybersecurity and privacy matters:
- Data Breach / Incident Response – Represented victim companies in crisis management and remediation efforts (including managing forensics, consumer notification and regulatory reporting requirements, and law enforcement interactions) in connection with some of the largest and most sophisticated cyberattacks and data breaches.
- Cybersecurity Counseling & Compliance – Advised C-level management, boards, and audit or special committees on cybersecurity risk and best practices, and compliance with applicable cybersecurity laws and regulations.
- Privacy Counseling & Compliance – Advised and proactively managed compliance efforts with respect to various privacy laws and regulations, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Government Demands for Data and Assistance – Handled complex, high-profile, or contentious demands for data and technical assistance by government agencies and law enforcement via subpoenas, search warrants, pen registers, wiretaps, national security letters (NSLs), and other formal process issued under federal and state law, including the Stored Communications Act (SCA), Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and Wiretap Act. Successfully litigated against the government to resist overbroad and/or unlawful process, as well as accompanying non-disclosure (i.e., “gag”) orders. Advised companies on encryption issues relating on such disputes. While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eric first-chaired complex financial fraud, intellectual property, and cybercrime-related cases, and mentored junior prosecutors in numerous other trials. He successfully argued multiple appeals before the Ninth Circuit. He also trained new prosecutors regarding electronic surveillance and data privacy issues. For his work with the government, Eric received numerous awards and commendations from federal agencies, including the FBI, Secret Service, IRS, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Eric is an active member of the legal community and committed to pro bono work. He served as Co-Chair of the ABA White Collar Crime Committee for Southern California. He currently serves on the board of the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, which provides direct representation to survivors of domestic violence and families in crises, and he was previously a board member for the Federal Bar Association of Los Angeles. He is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and volunteers with the Constitutional Rights Foundation.
From 2007 to 2014, Eric served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. He was Deputy Chief of the Cyber & IP Crimes unit, supervising one of the nation’s largest teams of federal prosecutors dedicated to investigating and prosecuting computer hacking and intellectual property offenses. He was the lead prosecutor on numerous high-profile cyber-crime investigations, including cases involving corporate espionage, theft of trade secrets, APTs (advanced persistent threats), botnets, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and other sophisticated cyberattacks by nation-state actors. Eric handled the prosecution of several infamous hacking groups that infiltrated government and corporate servers around the world. He also successfully prosecuted numerous traditional white collar cases as part of the Major Frauds Section, including healthcare fraud, mortgage fraud, investment fraud, tax fraud, and government procurement fraud cases, as well as some of the largest Ponzi scheme cases in Southern California.
Vandevelde graduated from UCLA School of Law, Order of the Coif. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable A. Howard Matz, United States District Judge, Central District of California.