Webcast: Economic Espionage and Intellectual Property Theft: Trends and Developments with Threats and Enforcement

September 23, 2021

U.S. businesses invest significant capital, resources, and time to develop highly valuable technology and processes. Business competitors – and,  increasingly, state actors or affiliates of state actors – are stealing that technology at an alarming rate for economic or national strategic advantage to devastating consequences to U.S. industry and national security.  This webcast will examine developments regarding the nature of the theft risk, including risk from insiders, cyber intrusions, or other means, and enforcement trends from the Department of Justice and other government agencies.

A team of national security, cyber-crime, and litigation practitioners with experience both inside and outside of government will share their experiences in investigating and defending companies that fall victim to theft of their trade secrets and highlight a number of notable recent criminal prosecutions under the Economic Espionage Act and related statutes.  We will discuss best practices for minimizing risk in this important area.

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David Burns, a partner in Washington, D.C. and co-chair of the firm’s National Security Practice Group, served in senior positions in both the National Security Division and the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. As Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division he supervised the Division’s investigations and prosecutions, including counterterrorism, counterintelligence, economic espionage, cyber hacking, FARA, disclosure of classified information, and sanctions and export controls matters.  Mr. Burns’ practice focuses on national security, white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and regulatory enforcement matters.

Zainab Ahmad, a partner in New York and co-chair of the firm’s National Security Practice Group, previously served as Deputy Chief of the National Security and Cybercrime section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York. Ms. Ahmad is a decorated former prosecutor who has received both of DOJ’s highest honors, the Attorney General’s Award and the FBI Director’s Award, and whose work prosecuting terrorists was profiled by The New Yorker magazine. Her practice is international and focuses on cross-border white collar defense and investigations, including corruption, anti-money laundering, sanctions and FCPA issues, as well as data privacy and cybersecurity matters.

Alexander Southwell, a partner in the New York office and co-chair of the firm’s Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Innovation Practice Group, previously 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 advises companies and boards across industries victimized by cyber-crimes and which experienced data breaches and he has particular expertise counseling on 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.

Robert Hur, a partner in Washington, D.C. and co-chair of the firm’s Crisis Management Practice Group, served as the 48th United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. During his tenure as United States Attorney, the Office handled numerous high-profile matters including those involving national security, cybercrime, public corruption, and financial fraud. Before serving as United States Attorney, Mr. Hur served as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General (“PADAG”) at the Department of Justice, a member of the Department’s senior leadership team and the principal counselor to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. Mr. Hur assisted with oversight of all components of the Department, including the National Security, Criminal, and Civil Divisions, all 93 U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also liaised regularly on behalf of the Justice Department with the White House, Congressional committees, and federal intelligence, enforcement and regulatory agencies.

Mark Lyon, a partner in Palo Alto and co-chair of the firm’s Artificial Intelligence and Automated Systems Practice Group, has extensive experience representing and advising clients on the legal, ethical, regulatory, and policy issues arising from emerging technologies. As practice group chair, Mr. Lyon has extensive experience representing and advising clients on the legal, ethical, regulatory, and policy issues arising from emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. As a member of the firm’s Privacy, Cyber Security and Consumer Protection practice group, Mr. Lyon brings a global focus to help his clients develop, implement, and audit appropriate policies and procedures to comply with applicable data privacy and cyber security regulations.


This program has been approved for credit in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 1.0 credit hour, of which 1.0 credit hour may be applied toward the areas of professional practice requirement.

This course is approved for transitional/non-transitional credit. Attorneys seeking New York credit must obtain an affirmation form prior to watching the archived version of this webcast. Please contact [email protected] to request the MCLE form.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1.0 hour.

California attorneys may claim “self-study” credit for viewing the archived version of this webcast. No certificate of attendance is required for California “self-study” credit.