Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP
Heather Egan Sussman is the co-head of the privacy and cybersecurity practice in Ropes & Gray’s Boston office. Her practice focuses on privacy, cybersecurity and information management, and she is ranked by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 United States as a leader in her field.
Heather routinely guides clients through the existing patchwork of U.S. federal and state laws, including FCRA, ECPA, TCPA, HIPAA, CAN-SPAM, GLBA and California’s Online Privacy Protection Act, state breach notification laws, state information security laws, as well as existing self-regulatory frameworks, including those covering online advertising and payment card processing. She manages teams of talented local counsel around the world to deliver seamless advice for clients that operate across many jurisdictional lines.
Heather also helps clients manage information and leverage the incredible value of data and digital technologies in ways that not only meet compliance obligations, but also support innovation, deliver value to the business, and solidify brand and consumer trust.
She drafts and negotiates contracts concerning data-related vendors and arrangements, guides clients through privacy and security assessments, and vets privacy and security risks in corporate transactions. She regularly counsels businesses on how to mitigate the risk associated with the collection, use, retention, disclosure, transfer and disposal of personal information. In the event of a privacy or security breach, she helps clients respond and remediate. Heather also helps clients protect themselves from – and respond to – incidents of doxing (doxxing).
Heather draws on her foundation as an employment lawyer when conducting internal investigations stemming from data incidents, and when drafting comprehensive privacy and security programs for businesses operating across multiple jurisdictions and industry lines. Clients praise her ability to address cultural and geographical nuances within the workforce in a way helps to drive positive change, particularly on issues impacting privacy and security.
Her clients come from diverse business sectors, including technology, retail, consumer products, telecommunications, healthcare and life sciences, manufacturing, food and beverage, media, academic institutions, service industries, energy, banks and other financial institutions.
Heather has successfully litigated, mediated and arbitrated both small and large-scale disputes at state and federal agencies and in courts nationwide. Companies routinely rely on her to manage their response to catastrophes, investigations and government probes involving conduct by employees, contractors and third parties. She represents clients during investigations by regulatory authorities in connection with data security breaches and complaints regarding privacy and security practices. She defends companies facing individual and class action claims involving privacy, information security and consumer protection.