BakerHostetler is proud to announce that Alan Friel has joined the firm, resident in the Los Angeles office and practicing in the Intellectual Property Group, as a key member of the Privacy and Data Protection and the Information Technology and Transaction teams. Friel’s practice focuses on intellectual property transactions, regulatory schemes, and privacy and consumer protection law. He comes to BakerHostetler from Edwards Wildman.

Friel’s privacy practice emphasizes proactive compliance counsel for clients across a myriad of industries, particularly media, advertising, retail, and e-commerce companies. He has designed and conducted data practice audits for scores of companies and revised their privacy policies, terms of use, vendor agreements, and information security policies, many of which involved multiple jurisdictions and affiliates. His work for clients enables them to implement policies and procedures allowing them to safely exploit and protect data. BakerHostetler’s nationally recognized Privacy and Data Protection practice has significant experience helping clients respond to more than 600 data breaches, including 175 responses just in the past year.

Friel is a thought leader regarding convergence legal issues – the property, liability, and regulatory implications at the evolving intersections between media, marketing, technology, distribution, commerce, Big Data, and communication brought about by the ongoing digital revolution. For example, he has in-depth experience negotiating over-the-top television (Internet TV) channel deals for content and commerce companies on MSN, YouTube, and smart TV platforms. He also frequently advises mobile and online publishers, as well as advertising networks and exchanges, regarding U.S. and EU privacy and data protection issues. This work on the cutting edge of emerging media perfectly positions him to coordinate the firm’s Advertising, Retailing and E-Commerce industry initiative.

Friel has negotiated and structured spokesperson and commercial deals with major talent, represented brands and agencies regarding advertising, marketing, promotional and social media, and advised social media and other user-generated content publishers on intellectual property issues.

“Privacy is not just about data breaches. As clients adopt emerging technology to enhance the customer experience and regulators continue to scrutinize data collection and sharing activities, we have seen an increasing focus on proactively addressing privacy and data protection issues before a breach happens,” said Theodore Kobus, co-chair of BakerHostetler’s national Privacy and Data Protection Practice team. “The addition of Alan to our team brings a media depth necessary to address these bet-the-company issues.”

Friel joins the firm following the recent addition of a five-member group, also from Edwards Wildman and including three additional IP attorneys, to the firm’s Chicago office; as well as the hiring of former Federal Trade Commissioner and privacy partner Pamela Jones Harbour. This growth further enhances BakerHostetler’s recent combination with national Intellectual Property firm Woodcock Washburn, a merger that added nearly 70 IP attorneys and three new offices to BakerHostetler’s national profile.

“In my mind, BakerHostetler has the best privacy and data security practice in the country,” said Friel. “Combine that with the firm’s strong IP presence, the recent combination with Woodcock Washburn, the firm’s historical roots in the media and publishing industry – all of which made my decision to join an obvious one.”

“We are excited to have Alan on board to coordinate and organize the firm’s existing advertising, retailing, and e-commerce initiative,” said John F. Cermak, Jr., managing partner of BakerHostetler’s Los Angeles office. “His data privacy compliance and auditing experience is a new capability for our LA office and an exciting boost to the firm’s nationally recognized privacy and data protection practice.”

A sought-after speaker and counselor regarding the practical application of substantive legal issues, Friel is affiliated with UCLA as an Assistant Professor in a multi-disciplinary project at the Graduate School of TV, Film and Digital Media, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Law. He is ranked amongst the 2013 Top Rated Lawyers in Technology by American Lawyer Media and was recognized by Legal 500 in its 2013 Technology, Media and Telecom (Technology/Data Protection and Privacy) ranking. While at Edwards Wildman, he was the chair of the Media and Technology Transactions Group, the co-chair of the Technology, Media and Telcom Industry Practice, and was on the steering committees of both the IP and Privacy & Data Security Departments.Friel received his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 1991. He holds an EPM from UCLA’s Graduate School of Business, earned in 2001, and he received a B.S. in Public and Urban Affairs 1984 from Georgia State University.