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Demystifying Cyber-Attacks: How Directors and Officers Can Best Prepare Themselves and the Follow-On Shareholder Litigation

Speaker(s): Brian E. Finch, Sarah A. Good
Recorded on: Mar. 10, 2015
PLI Program #: 137144

Brian Finch is a partner in the law firm’s Public Policy practice and is based in Pillsbury’s Washington, DC office. Named by Washingtonian magazine in 2011 as one of the top 40 federal lobbyists under the age of 40 and by Law360 as one of its “Rising Stars” in Privacy Law in 2014, Brian is a recognized authority on global security matters. He specializes in counseling on regulatory and government affairs issues involving the Department of Homeland Security, Congress, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies. Brian in particular focuses his practice on assisting clients with matters involving cyber security, national defense and intelligence policies, homeland security concerns, and in general providing proactive advice to mitigate liability in the event of a significant security incident.

Areas of Concentration

Brian is a leading authority on the SAFETY Act, a federal statute that can provide liability protection to companies following a terrorist or cyber attack. He has helped prepare over 100 applications for such protections, including for services and technologies such as security guards and vulnerability assessments to software programs and security screening devices. He also testified twice before the U.S. Congress on matters related to the SAFETY Act, and writes regularly about its practical application for business.

Brian is recognized as a leading legal authority on matters related to cyber security, including the legal and policy challenges associated with the consequences of companies suffering a cyber attack, as well as the steps that can be taken to help mitigate the risk of attack as well as post-event litigation.

Brian also regularly advocates on behalf of companies seeking to ensure that federal agencies have sufficient funding for contract vehicles in which they participate.
Brian has represented a wide variety of clients on security matters, including Major League Baseball, FireEye, Inc,, the American Gas Association, the American Public Power Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Honeywell International, L-3 Communications, Emgerent BioSolutions, Washington Gas, Brookfield Office Properties, G4S, and McAfee Inc.


Prior to joining Pillsbury, Brian practiced with two Washington, DC law firms and worked as a legal intern with the Office of Chief Counsel of the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Justice.

Professional Activities

Brian is a senior advisor to the Homeland Security and Defense Council, serves the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security’s advisory board, and as an inaugural Senior Fellow at George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute. Brian is a professorial lecturer in law at The George Washington University Law School, where he co-teaches homeland security law and policy.

Brian regularly speaks and writes on security issues. He has cyber security blog on The Huffington Post, a regular cyber security column on the Fox Business website, and appears regularly on cable news as a security expert. He also has authored or co-authored articles for the Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Hill, National Journal, The Washington Times, and other publications.

Honors & Awards
  • Law360 – Rising Stars, April 2014
  • Washingtonian 40 Lobbyists Under 40, March 2011
Speaking Engagements

Information Security Issues, Practising Law Institute Financial Services IT 2014: Avoidance of Risk Seminar, May 21, 2014

Cybersecurity: Progress and Challenges to Keep Your Co-Op Safe, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Legal Seminar 54, May 20-21, 2014

Cultivating Ethics: Mitigation Vulnerability to Cyber and Data Security Threats in Order to Maintain Client Confidentiality, Virtual LegalTech, May 15, 2014

Insight on Cyber Security Strategies, Cyber Security and Countering Corporate Espionage Symposium, May 1, 2014

Surviving the Cyber Tsunami: Cybersecurity Worries and Opportunities for Security Contractors, 2014

Security Industry Association Education@International Security Conference and Exposition West, April 2, 2014

Sarah Good is a co-leader of the firm's Securities Litigation & Enforcement Team who focuses her practice on securities and consumer class action litigation and complex general commercial disputes. Ms. Good has represented defendants in over 75 securities class actions, derivative litigation, and investigations and proceedings commenced by governmental and regulatory agencies including the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Recognized as among California’s “Top 100 Women Lawyers” by the Daily Journal, Ms. Good counsels companies on disclosure issues under the securities laws and compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Ms. Good advises Audit Committees and Boards of Directors in the investigation of allegations of misconduct, whether in connection with pending governmental/regulatory proceedings, litigation or prior to the commencement of any adversarial proceedings. Many of these investigations have involved activities in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
Over the past 20 years, Ms. Good has counseled over 250 private, pre-IPO and public companies on risk management and insurance issues. She also counsels individual officers and directors on D&O liability insurance.
In addition, Ms. Good has represented defendants in more than 20 consumer fraud class actions, private attorney general actions under California’s Business & Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq. and investigations initiated by the Attorney General’s Office and various regulatory agencies. Companies represented in such matters primarily are from the financial services sector, but also include technology companies.
Ms. Good is experienced in pre-dispute counseling and serves as an early neutral evaluator for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and is a panelist in the Early Settlement Program of the San Francisco Superior Court and The Bar Association of San Francisco. She has negotiated over 150 settlements.
Prior to joining Pillsbury, Ms. Good was a partner at Arnold & Porter and Chair of the Litigation Department at Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin (2009-2011), before those two firms merged. Before joining Howard Rice as a director in 2001, Ms. Good was a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
In the community, Ms. Good has served on the Board of Directors of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. Additionally, she has provided pro bono representation to the prisoners of Pelican Bay State Prison in a class action challenging the constitutionality of a broad range of conditions and practices. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Henderson granted sweeping relief in favor of plaintiffs in a landmark ruling, Madrid v. Gomez, 889 F.Supp. 1146 (N.D. Cal. 1996).

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Securities (2014-2015)
  • Daily Journal, “Top 100 Women Lawyers in California” (2013)

American Bar Association, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Securities Industry Association – Compliance & Legal Division, Bar Association of San Francisco, Santa Clara County Bar Association, Women in Securities (WISe)

All state and federal courts in California; District of Columbia Court of Appeal; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Supreme Court of the United States

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • 29th Annual National Institute on Executive Compensation, Chicago, IL, “Recent Trends in Proxy Disclosure and Executive Compensation Litigation”, November 13, 2014
  • The Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, June 16, 2014, “Securities Litigation Update: From the Supreme Court to the Northern District and Everything Else in Between”, June 16, 2014
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s 2nd Annual Proxy Conference, San Francisco, CA, “Proxy Disclosure Shareholder Litigation Concerning Executive Compensation”, January 29, 2014
  • Webinar, “Executive Compensation Litigation & Proxy Disclosures”, January 9, 2014
  • 11th Annual General Counsel West Conference, San Francisco, CA, “Latest Trends in Executive Compensation and Related Shareholder Litigation”, November 19, 2013
  • Women in Securities (WISe) Event, San Francisco, CA, “Meet the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California and the SEC’s Assistant Regional Director of Enforcement”, October 7, 2013
  • 21st Annual Conference of the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP), Washington, DC, “Avoiding Section 162(m) Pitfalls in Equity Compensation Programs”, September 25, 2013
  • Tackling Your 2014 Compensation Disclosures: The Proxy Disclosure Conference, Washington, DC, “How to Avoid Executive Pay Disclosure Litigation”, September 23, 2013
  • 19th Annual Stanford Law School Directors’ College, Stanford, CA, “Special Investigations” Breakout Session, June 25, 2013.
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman 2013 Proxy Conference, Redwood City, CA, “Managing Your Say-on-Pay Vote” session, February 19, 2013.
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman Annual MCLE Marathon, Palo Alto and San Francisco; “Dodd-Frank Update: Say-on-Pay Proxy Disclosure and Shareholder Litigation,” January 2013.
  • Golden State Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Institute, San Francisco, CA, “The Supreme Court Theater: Now Playing and Coming Soon,” October 25, 2012.


State of California
District of Columbia


J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1990
A.B., Princeton University, 1987