James Smith
Associate | Washington, D.C.
James Smith

James Smith is an associate in Dechert’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the cyber, privacy and AI practice.

Mr. Smith advises multinational clients across all industry sectors on matters relating to technology and data, including global data privacy, cybersecurity, digital marketing, product development, data breach response, consumer protection, and regulatory compliance. He routinely counsels clients on compliance with the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM); the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act); the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA); the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA); the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), as amended, and similar state data privacy laws; state breach notification laws; and advertising and payment card processing self-regulatory frameworks.

He has deep expertise in advising clients on privacy and information security matters in the context of corporate transactions and has counseled clients on over 1,000 corporate transactions to date.

With particular insight into the privacy, security, and exchange of health information, Mr. Smith advises clients on compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the enforcement provisions added to HIPAA by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009.

Moreover, Mr. Smith provides strategic counseling and legal support to clients regarding their implementation and use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation technologies. He guides clients through the continually evolving regulatory developments in this space, develops AI compliance programs and use policies, and advises on the privacy, cybersecurity, and data management considerations in the use of such technologies.

He also has a broad consumer protection practice and counsels clients on advertising substantiation, sweepstakes and marketing promotions, retail sales and e-commerce platforms, including matters involving state and federal consumer protection statutes and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA).

Mr. Smith is qualified as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and as a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community.

Committed to Dechert’s pro bono initiatives, Mr. Smith is a member of Legal Counsel for the Elderly’s Young Lawyers Alliance. He is a regular contributor to Dechert Cyber Bits, a bi-weekly publication on privacy and cybersecurity matters.

He is an active leader of the LGBT Bar Association of the District of Columbia and previously served as its vice president. He is a member of the Business Law Section and the Health Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Smith was an associate at a prominent global firm where he devoted a substantial portion of his practice towards supporting its leading capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity practices from a privacy and security standpoint.

  • Designed and implemented a U.S. state privacy law compliance program for a Fortune 100 multi-channel, specialty retailer, including its data subject request processes, internal and external-facing privacy policies, and cross-border data transfer mechanisms.
  • Advised two California HIPAA covered entities on the design and implementation of a comprehensive HIPAA and privacy and cybersecurity compliance program.
  • Assisting a major multinational data broker in the design and implementation of a scalable privacy and cybersecurity compliance program, which included state, federal, and European privacy and cybersecurity laws and frameworks, as well as industry self-regulatory codes.
  • Advised Estancia Capital Partners and R&T Deposit Solutions on the privacy and data security aspects of a recapitalization involving a significant investment from GTCR, reinforcing R&T's status as an innovative provider of deposit management solutions.
  • Advised Cerberus Capital Management on the privacy and data security aspects of its acquisition of home equity lender Spring EQ.
  • A global backend providing for market-leading airlines and hotel providers with data incidents involving ethical security researchers and public vulnerability disclosures.
  • Global data broker with 7-8x the amount of data as Ebay regarding data breach resulting in multi-million-dollar ransom.
  • A global public distribution company regarding data breach involving theft of sensitive employee information.
  • Easy Healthcare Corporation and its women’s mobile health fertility App in connection with a purported nationwide class action pending in Federal court in Illinois.
  • A gaming accessory manufacturer regarding privacy advice in connection with U.S. privacy and cybersecurity laws.
  • Ones to Watch — Privacy and Data Security – Best Lawyers in America 2023
Services Industries
    • New York University, B.A., History and English, 2007, Dean's Scholar
    • New York University, M.A., World History, 2010, Albert Gallatin Scholar
    • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 2014, CALI Award in Takeovers, Mergers, and Acquisitions (highest grade in class)
    • District of Columbia
    • Maryland
    • New York