Law360 Names Cooley "Privacy Group of the Year" for Third Time

San Francisco – February 17, 2015 – For the third time in four years, Cooley's privacy & data protection practice group has been named a "Privacy Group of the Year" by Law360. The annual list recognizes elite practice groups based on the size, complexity, and consequence of matters handled.

In addition to handling extensive privacy and data security litigation, Cooley lawyers are increasingly handling counseling, compliance, data-breach response, and due diligence matters as well.

In selecting Cooley, Law360 acknowledged the firm's noteworthy work on behalf of Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, among other clients.

Among other cases, Cooley's privacy group defended Facebook in a class action alleging that certain of its advertising-related products, such as "sponsored stories" and "social ads," violated minors' right of publicity by displaying their names and/or profile pictures without "valid consent." Although Facebook's terms of use provided consent, the plaintiffs claimed that they were not bound because, as minors, the key terms were void under a section of the California Family Code. The plaintiffs sought statutory damages of up to $1,000 per violation, aggregated across the alleged class of US Facebook users who were minors. Cooley won a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The case is now on appeal. One prominent commentator said of the result in the district court: "This is a big win for all online services, not only Facebook."

For Google, Cooley defeated a significant class certification motion in a case alleging as unlawful the automated scanning of Gmail messages involving more than 400 million Gmail accounts and billions of emails. Had the class been approved, it may have been the largest in history, resulting in multi-billion dollar litigation. The litigation and order received widespread media coverage, including recognition for Mike Rhodes, Law360's four-time "Privacy MVP" and chair of Cooley's privacy and data protection practice group, as "Litigator of the Week" by The American Lawyer.

"Six or seven years ago when Cooley started its privacy practice, we were one of the only firms litigating these cases and paving the way in privacy law," said Rhodes. "Our growth is a reflection of the maturity of the businesses we've been working with over the years and the evolution of the privacy space along with them."

"There has been a significant shift in the nature of the practice," Matthew D. Brown, co-chair of Cooley's privacy and data protection practice, told Law360 in an interview. "It's not just issues having to do with compliance counseling, but we're also called on to evaluate other companies or assets involved in M&A transactions."

Cooley's privacy and data protection attorneys specialize in counseling, compliance, regulatory, and litigation representation involving a broad swath of companies and industries, and covering a wide range of issues, including online and mobile privacy, right of publicity, data-breach response, e-commerce, health data, and cybersecurity, among others. Cooley's privacy and data protection litigators have defended companies in more than 50 class actions around the country and have a strong track record of success. In the past four years, Cooley has won more than 25 motions to dismiss in privacy and data security class actions.

View the Law360 article here.

About Cooley LLP

Cooley's lawyers solve legal issues for entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and established companies. Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, often where innovation meets the law.

Cooley has 850 lawyers across 12 offices in the United States, China and Europe.

Related Contacts
Michael Rhodes Partner, San Francisco
Matthew D. Brown Partner, San Francisco
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