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Think Like a Lawyer, Talk Like a Geek 2018: Get Fluent in Technology

Speaker(s): Aaron J. Wright, Amir R. Ghavi, Christopher J.P. Mitchell, Gena A. Feist, Harry A. Valetk, Jacqueline Connor, James Q. Walker, Jenny Cieplak, Kathleen A. McGee, Kyle Antoian, Lori E. Lesser, Marc S. Roth, Mutisya Ndunda, Peter Brown, Sachin Bansal, Scott J.. Sholder, Stephanie Niehaus, Tiffany Hartkemeyer, Wendy Feldman
Recorded on: Oct. 4, 2018
PLI Program #: 221770

Amir R. Ghavi is a corporate partner resident in Fried Frank’s New York office and leads the Firm's Technology Transactions Practice.

Mr. Ghavi concentrates his practice on intellectual property transactions on behalf of venture and private equity sponsors and corporations in the software, financial technology, high-technology, aerospace, banking and insurance, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and energy and industrial sectors.

Mr. Ghavi regularly advises clients on IP and technology aspects of corporate and asset acquisitions and divestitures, IP-centric joint ventures, restructurings, data use and licensing, brand licensing and management, and other intellectual property licensing, outsourcing agreements, software development, and the use and management of open-source software.

Mr. Ghavi received his JD from Cornell Law School in 2006 and his BS in Neuroscience and BA in Philosophy from Emory University in 2001.

Mr. Ghavi is admitted to the practice in New York and the US District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Harry A. Valetk is a Partner in Baker McKenzie’s Global Privacy and Security Practice Group based in New York, where he advises global organizations on privacy and data security compliance requirements. He regularly supports companies in the insurance and financial services sector, pharmaceutical/ healthcare, hospitality, cloud technology, and manufacturing industries.  His practice is focused on delivering commercially practical advice on designing security, privacy, and technologically compliant solutions. Harry's practice routinely covers issues that range from supporting M&A transactions that result in cross-border data transfers, to digital marketing, regulatory enforcement defense, and cyber security and data breach incident response. He also helps clients perform privacy risk assessments for highly-regulated entities on numerous data protection topics, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), GDPR,HIPAA, GLBA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  Before joining the Firm in 2014, Harry was Director of MetLife’s Global Privacy Office.  Before MetLife, Harry led the video game publishing industry’s privacy compliance efforts as the Director of Privacy Online for the Entertainment Software Rating Board and its COPPA Safe Harbor Seal Program. Finally, Harry served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division.

Jacqueline Connor is an attorney in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. She investigates and litigates violations of U.S. laws enforced by the Commission that govern the privacy and security of consumer information.  Ms. Connor served as a staff attorney on the FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide litigation, and is currently working on various non-public investigations and consent negotiations.  She has investigated and resolved matters involving data security, privacy, the Child Online Privacy Protection Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Ms. Connor is a graduate of Boston University School of Law.  

James Walker is a partner in the New York office of Perkins Coie LLP, where he also serves as that office’s Loss Prevention Partner.  He concentrates in government investigations and professional liability. Mr. Walker represents companies and senior executives in government investigations, civil litigation, and employment matters, and defends law firms and lawyers in malpractice claims, disqualification motions and professional conduct advice. Mr. Walker Chairs the New York County Lawyer’s Association Committee on Professional Ethics, is on the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct and Law360’s Legal Ethics Editorial Advisory Board, and is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct (COSAC) and Committee on Professional Ethics. He also serves on the New York City Bar’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Mr. Walker frequently lectures and publishes on topics that include internal investigations, technology and legal practice, and professional liability. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1990 and B.S. in Applied Math from Yale College in 1985. 

Jenny E. Cieplak focuses her practice on technology transactions, in particular FinTech and the financial services industry. Her experience includes work on the creation, governance, and sale of electronic trading platforms, exchanges, swap execution facilities, clearinghouses, and data repositories. She provides her clients with a unique combination of skills based on her knowledge of technology and her experience with collaborative arrangements between IP creators and users, especially in the financial industry.

Ms. Cieplak provides counsel to clients on technology transactions and IP portfolio management, advising on all aspects of IP creation, protection, licensing, and sales. Ms. Cieplak structures and drafts IP agreements that are key to a company’s lifecycle, from procurement, development, licensing, and hosting agreements to and M&A and similar exit transactions. She advises clients on collaborative development arrangements, including joint development agreements, use of open source technologies, and joint ventures. Her practice also includes management of the IP and technology aspects of mergers and acquisitions, financings, capital markets, and other corporate transactions. Ms. Cieplak also counsels clients on the implementation of new technologies such as blockchain and distributed ledgers, and the development of innovative products such as virtual currencies and blockchain-based assets.

Much of Ms. Cieplak’s practice focuses on arrangements between commercial users of technology, such as large financial institutions, and providers of technology – not only in licensing and services arrangements but also in developing collaborative relationships between technology users and technology providers, including investment and governance arrangements. Ms. Cieplak is experienced in the creation and governance of complex joint ventures, advising on matters such as entity formation, ownership structure, corporate governance, intellectual property ownership and use, staffing approaches, and exit strategies. She also represents clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions and strategic investments, managing the diligence process, structuring transactions, and drafting and negotiating documents ranging from early-stage investments in startup companies to public company acquisitions.

Ms. Cieplak provides regulatory advice to clients in the financial services industry, particularly in relation to regulation of the OTC derivatives markets. Ms. Cieplak has advised trading platforms, swap dealers, major swap participants, and end users regarding the CFTC’s regulatory regime, including with respect to registration issues, reporting, documentation, and internal and external business conduct requirements.


Lori Lesser is a Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she practices in the Litigation Department and is Head of the Intellectual Property Transactions Practice and Co-Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice. Lori advises on all aspects of intellectual property, technology and privacy law, including corporate transactions, litigation, licensing, outsourcing, strategic agreements and counseling.

Her IP transactional experience includes mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and secured financings, bankruptcy and restructurings, joint ventures, licensing, outsourcing, counseling and other strategic agreements. Her IP litigation practice comprises trial and appellate work and WIPO arbitrations.

Ms. Lesser is also consistently recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and The Best Lawyers in America, for which she has been named the “Information Technology Lawyer of the Year” for New York City. She has been listed in the “Top 50 Under 45” U.S. IP Lawyers (IP Law & Business magazine), the “Top 45 Under 45” U.S. women lawyers (The American Lawyer), and “The 20 Most Influential Women in IP Law” (Law360). She has been ranked in New York City’s top 100 lawyers and top 50 women lawyers by Super Lawyers. She has received the Burton Award for legal writing and the Award of Excellence from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Her IP work in private equity deals has been featured on the cover of IP Law & Business.

Ms. Lesser has served as a David Rockefeller Fellow for New York City and corporate partner for GreaterNY and serves on the boards of the Partnership Fund for New York City and the Citizens Budget Commission. She is President of the Harvard Law School Association of NYC and serves on the Executive Committee of the Harvard Class of 1988. She is on the Advisory Board of ChIPs (chief IP counsel), the Business Advisory Council of ProPublica, the Leadership Council of Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies, and the Hunter College Pre-Law Advisory Board. She is a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.

Ms. Lesser graduated from Harvard University (A.B., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, 1988) and Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1993).

Peter Brown has focused on technology law matters in national law firms and boutiques for over 25 years. He is currently the principal of Peter Brown & Associates PLLC, a New York boutique law firm concentrating in information technology, intellectual property and arbitration.

“The Best Lawyers in America” ® publication honored him as the “Lawyer of the Year” in Information Technology Law 2018 for New York City.

Mr. Brown has experience in a wide variety of litigations and arbitrations relating to the Internet, information technology and intellectual property. He regularly appears in both federal and state courts throughout the United States. In addition, Mr. Brown has acted as an arbitrator or mediator in over 70 matters involving IT and IP disputes.

Throughout his career he has drafted and negotiated a broad array of agreements relating to the Internet, outsourcing, cloud computing services, application software, Internet apps and e-commerce.  He has prepared these agreements for domestic businesses and international companies.

Mr. Brown co-authored the leading treatises Emerging Technologies and the Law and Computer Law. He also co-authors a monthly column on Information Technology Law for the New York Law Journal.

Mr. Brown is regularly featured as a speaker at the International Technology Law Association, local bar associations and other professional organizations in the US and abroad. He frequently speaks on the topic of artificial intelligence, IT and IP.

The Best Lawyers in America 2019 edition (affiliated with U.S. News & World Report), rated Peter Brown & Associates PLLC a First Tier National Technology Law firm. Chambers USA, New York Metro Superlawyers and other ratings organization have all given Mr. Brown high ratings in the fields of IT and IP. For further information see

Gena A. Feist

Senior Counsel, Rockstar Games

SVP & associate General Counsel, Take Two Interactive Software


Gena Feist is Rockstar Games’ Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Take Two Interactive Software.  Take Two is a leading worldwide publisher, developer and distributor of interactive entertainment software.  Rockstar Games develops and publishes some of the most successful video game series in the world including Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead, Max Payne, and Midnight Club.


Ms. Feist is responsible for a wide range of legal matters for the Rockstar Games label including worldwide intellectual property, privacy, security, dispute, and regulatory matters.  She advises Rockstar on day-to-day matters including product development, marketing, websites, data collection, merchant and vendor relationships, game content ratings, and the creation of original game content.  Ms. Feist also handles a wide range of worldwide litigation matters for Rockstar Games including copyright, trademark, right of publicity, and the right to free expression.

Kathleen is a highly accomplished technology and regulatory lawyer and former prosecutor with more than 17 years’ experience in the public sector. Her practice has a dual focus on compliance and investigations.

As Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Internet & Technology for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Kathleen was at the forefront of regulation, enforcement initiatives, and public policy involving privacy, data security, and consumer protection, among other issues. Earlier in her career, she served as Director of the Office of Special Enforcement in the New York City Mayor’s Office, where, as lead counsel, she directed litigation on a number of intellectual property and civil nuisance matters and was a policy leader on issues ranging from data analytics to human trafficking. While with the Mayor’s Office, Kathleen also developed the New Business Acceleration Team to streamline regulations and fast-track new business development. Kathleen started her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office in New York, where she prosecuted domestic violence, child abuse, and sex crimes.

Kathleen's public sector experience gives her an edge in counseling emerging and mature companies on a broad spectrum of regulatory issues concerning technology, data security, and privacy. She has in-depth knowledge of matters involving unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices (UDAAPs), as well as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), emerging privacy and data security laws, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, Kathleen's experience in municipal government and her understanding of how the administrative code affects business has given her a unique perspective on the intersection of commerce and the law. Clients appreciate her insights into how to identify unanticipated problems and develop creative, business-focused solutions.

Kathleen also provides counsel to individuals and companies facing investigations. As outside counsel on internal investigations, she is an effective fact-finder on matters such as alleged employee malfeasance and intellectual property claims, among others. She also represents clients in government-facing investigations, including white collar criminal defense. Clients in this area benefit from both her sophisticated grasp of technology-related criminal matters and her on-the-ground experience as a lead prosecutor in both jury and bench trials.

Kathleen is admitted to appear before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Kyle Antoian is the Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at Epsilon/Conversant, responsible for identifying and integrating new partnership opportunities into the company’s product line. Antoian helps lead the strategic partnerships group at Epsilon and focuses on data commercialization, new product incubation, and partnerships.

Kyle joined Epsilon from Datran Media where he led strategic partnership expansion with a focus on growing the user base of publishers and sustaining and prospecting match partners. Prior to that he was Marketing Manager at Takkle Inc, tasked with new customer acquisition and analytics.

Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Duke University. He is the assistant coach of Philadelphia-Whitemarsh Rugby Football Club and sits on the board of the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union.

Marc advises clients on all things advertising, marketing, promotions and privacy, having practiced in these areas for decades, in various capacities. He is a former Federal Trade Commission attorney and served as Chief Marketing Counsel for a Time Warner subsidiary.  He is a frequent speaker and author on marketing, privacy and technology law.  He is recognized by Chambers and Best Lawyers US as a leading lawyer in national advertising and transactional law.

Mutisya has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and is responsible for setting the Company’s overall strategy and vision. Mutisya also plays an active role in the development of the company’s machine learning technologies.

Previously, Mutisya was the Head of Strategy & Business Development for Bloomberg’s Enterprise Solutions. Prior to Bloomberg, he was the Head of North America Business Development for SIG.

Mutisya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in Financial Engineering from Cornell University.

Sachin Bansal is the General Counsel at SecurityScorecard, the global leader in cybersecurity ratings and backed by world-class investors including Google, Sequoia, Intel, Moody's, Riverwood, and others.  Sachin is responsible for all legal, contract, and regulatory matters at SecurityScorecard where the mantra of "team legal" is to act as agile business partners to guide the company's sustainable growth while protecting its interests, and to have fun while doing so.  Sachin brings a long and successful track record of both public company in-house and top law firm experience, including Davis Polk & Wardwell and Paul Hastings.  He frequently speaks on a range of topics, such as cybersecurity, legal practice, and diversity-related matters.  Sachin is also not your standard lawyer -- he is professionally-trained in stand-up comedy, which he performs regularly and is also the creator and co-producer of The Surprise Show, a successful off-Broadway NYC production. 

Stephanie Niehaus is a Partner with Nelson Niehaus LLC, a boutique law firm focusing on the intersection of mobility, technology, insurance, and law.  She is a seasoned litigator and advocate with nearly two decades of experience representing clients in a diverse array of industries, including manufacturing, technology, and insurance.  In that time, Stephanie has developed a deep understanding of complex multi-plaintiff and multi-district matters, particularly in the products liability and toxic tort space.  She has a keen interest in the tort implications of emerging technologies, and is a frequent speaker and author in this area.  Stephanie is a graduate of Georgetown University and Notre Dame Law School. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013; appeared on Benchmark Litigation’s 40 and Under Hot List in 2017 and 2018; and has been recognized repeatedly as a “Super Lawyer.”  Stephanie is admitted to practice in New York and Ohio. 

Tiffany Hartkemeyer

Mercer, European Data Privacy Leader

Tiffany Hartkemeyer is the European Data Privacy Leader for Mercer Limited where she is responsible for setting the strategy for the development and growth of the privacy and data protection program across Europe. Based in London, she is an experienced legal, data protection and privacy leader with deep knowledge of global data protection and cyber security regulations. Tiffany led the firm’s GDPR implementation initiative and continues to support and advise the business on member state implementation regulations and other regulatory developments. She is experienced in performing Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs), incident response and breach management, as well as Data Subject Assess Requests (DSARs), privacy policies and procedures, and colleague training and awareness.

Before relocating to London, Tiffany was based in New York at Mercer’s parent company, Marsh and McLennan Companies (MMC), where she helped build MMC’s Global Privacy Program – from Data Loss Prevention and Binding Corporate Rules to developing a privacy legal and regulatory risk assessment framework.

Prior to MMC, Tiffany worked at MetLife helping lead compliance and privacy for the Group Disability and Group Life Insurance product teams.

Tiffany is a member of the New York Bar and a Certified Information Privacy Professional.

Aaron Wright is an expert in corporate and intellectual property law, with extensive experience in Internet and new technology issues. Before joining Cardozo's faculty, he sold a company to Wikia, the for-profit sister project of Wikipedia, where he ran Wikia’s New York office, served as General Counsel and Vice President of Product and Business Development, and helped build an open source search engine.   Wright has clerked for the Honorable William J. Martini of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and worked as an associate at several prominent New York law firms, including Patterson Belknap and Jenner & Block. He received his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Cardozo Law Review.  He has a forthcoming book about blockchain technology and the law (co-authored with Primavera De Filippi) that will be published by Harvard University Press.

Christopher Mitchell has been practicing law for over 12 years, which includes running his own business venture and technology law firm located in Manhattan for the past 3 years. His practice focuses on representing entrepreneurs, small businesses, early stage companies, investors and investment groups operating within the sports, entertainment, digital media and emerging technology industries. Christopher ‘s firm advises investors on the creation of investment groups, funds formations, joint ventures and other strategic alliances. He also represents their interests in angel investing, private equity, and venture capital financings. Additionally, Christopher’s firm counsels entrepreneurs, businesses and companies on entity formation, capital raises, and a range of general corporate and business matters with an emphasis on Internet and technology laws and regulations.

Christopher’s firm has built a growing practice within the Blockchain technology space. The firm advises clients on token sales and initial coin offerings, Blockchain based platform and software development along with guidance on regulatory and compliance matters. Personally, Christopher has given many lectures and educational workshops in this field for industry professionals. He also sits on advisory boards and provides strategic business consulting for Blockchain based companies.

Christopher is licensed to practice in Florida and New York. He received his B.A. from George Mason University and J.D. from Pace Law School.