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Edward R. McNicholas


ED MCNICHOLAS, a co-leader of Sidley’s Privacy, Data Security, and Information Law practice, has an extensive practice representing technologically-sophisticated clients facing complex cybersecurity, information technology, privacy and related constitutional issues. Commended by The Legal 500 US for his “deep knowledge of privacy and information security,” Ed spearheads Sidley’s cybercrime focus and has significant experience with litigation and counseling matters involving privacy and data protection, electronic surveillance, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, trade secrets, online advertising, social media, big data/data science, and national security.

Ed is frequently recognized as a leader in his field. In addition to his inclusion in The Legal 500 US, Ed has been named in a Computerworld survey of “Best Privacy Advisers” as one of the “Top 25 Privacy Experts” in the country and has been included in The International Who’s Who of Internet, e-Commerce & Data Protection Lawyers since 2011. Chambers USA has included Ed in its rankings of the country’s Leading Lawyers since 2008 and notes that he “impresses sources with his outstanding knowledge and responsive service . . . handling complex privacy matters in his trial and appellate practice.” Chambers Global has recognized the global reach of Ed’s data protection practice since 2011. Chambers also has commended Ed in its nationwide litigation rankings for e-discovery.

Reflecting the breadth of Ed’s practice, his recent experience includes:

  • Representing major retailers experiencing congressional, litigation, and investigative challenges after cybersecurity attacks including in Moyer v. Michaels Stores, Inc., 2014 WL 3511500 (N.D. Ill. 2014) and Frank v. The Neiman Marcus Group, No. 1:14-cv-233 (E.D.N.Y. 2014).
  • Assisting corporations with preparation for and responses to sophisticated cybersecurity incidents.
  • Advising U.S. companies on cross-border data transfer and cloud computing issues.

Prior to joining Sidley, Ed served as an Associate Counsel to President Clinton. In that capacity, he advised senior White House staff regarding various Independent Counsel, congressional and grand jury investigations. Ed has developed unique experience representing clients in the midst of media-driven legal challenges. His crisis management skills are particularly useful in coordinating the swirl of complex litigation, congressional hearings, and federal and state investigations that can follow from major privacy and cybersecurity incidents.

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