National labor and employment law firm Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP is pleased to welcome a 44-member team, including 32 experienced attorneys, in a significant expansion of the firm’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice. The attorneys who will be joining the Constangy Cyber Team are located across 17 cities in 12 states, and are driving the opening of new offices for Constangy in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle and Washington, DC.

The expanded practice group will be led by chair Sean Hoar and vice-chairs Richard Goldberg, Lindsay Nickle, Sarah Rugnetta, Allen Sattler, and Alyssa Watzman.

“We are delighted to welcome this amazing team of preeminent leaders in the privacy and cybersecurity industry and expand our ability to serve clients in this rapidly growing and increasingly critical area for businesses,” said Neil Wasser, chairman of the executive committee at Constangy.

“Constangy’s collaborative and diverse culture, complex litigation expertise, client-friendly platform, and more than 75 years of solid business experience provide the perfect environment to better serve our clients and continue to enhance our practice,” Hoar said. “There is a powerful synergy between our cybersecurity and data privacy services and Constangy’s experience in advising companies across complex regulatory and litigation environments. We are excited to join their professionals, add value to existing client relationships, and continue to increase our incident response and compliance advisory services as the new Constangy Cyber Team.”

In addition to expanding Constangy’s legal service offerings, this continues the firm’s growth strategy to increase the firm’s footprint, which included the addition of more than 10 new attorneys in 2022 and new offices in Northern New Jersey and San Diego.

“Data privacy and information security involve business-critical issues that demand experienced and responsive legal counsel,” said vice chair Nickle.“ As the Constangy Cyber Team, we have the infrastructure and support to enhance our client service and continue to grow our practice as the firm expands its footprint.”

Vice chair Watzman added that “Constangy’s diverse culture is a great fit for our team. Similar to the larger Constangy firm, the majority of the Constangy Cyber Team members, at every level including its team leadership, are female. We are also excited to work within such a collaborative environment.”

The attorneys who will be joining the firm include:

Sean Hoar Partner & Practice Group Chair         Portland
Richard Goldberg Partner & Practice Group Vice Chair Philadelphia
Lindsay Nickle Partner & Practice Group Vice Chair Dallas
Sarah Rugnetta Partner & Practice Group Vice Chair Buffalo
Allen Sattler Partner & Practice Group Vice Chair Orange County
Alyssa Watzman Partner & Practice Group Vice Chair Denver
John Babione Partner Indianapolis
Jason Cherry Partner Los Angeles
Maria Efaplomatidis Partner New York
Laura Funk Partner Dallas
Lauren Godfrey Partner Pittsburgh
Julie Hess Partner Philadelphia
Donna Maddux Partner Portland
David McMillan Partner New York
Todd Rowe Partner Chicago
Aubrey Weaver Partner Philadelphia
Julie Keersmaekers Of Counsel Denver
Andrea Kuettel Of Counsel Buffalo
Cristina Di Maria Senior Counsel New York
Amanda Novak Senior Counsel Minneapolis
David Rice Senior Counsel New York
Suzie Allen Associate New York
Michael Christopher Associate Los Angeles
Sarah Estephan Associate Orange County
Allyce Estremera Associate Philadelphia
Michael Ferragamo Associate DC
Amir Goodarzi Associate Philadelphia
Jacqueline Lien Associate San Francisco
Alyssa Pearce Associate Raleigh
Jamie Seibert Associate Baltimore
Loree Stuck Associate Seattle
Rachel Weinstein Associate Dallas

All are coming to Constangy from Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith. More information on the practice group leadership is included below.

Sean Hoar

Sean Hoar, a partner in the Portland office, serves as chair of the Constangy Cyber Team. His background includes almost 25 years of experience with data privacy and information security matters. He is a former cyber attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice where he served as the lead cyber attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon, and worked with the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section in Washington, D.C. During that time, he worked closely with the FBI, the Secret Service, and other federal agencies in prosecuting complex white collar and high-tech cybercrime. He was also honored twice with the Director’s Award, one of the highest awards bestowed upon Assistant U.S. Attorneys. He has been recognized for his leadership in the data privacy and cybersecurity space, having been named by the Cybersecurity Docket as one of the best and brightest data breach response lawyers in the United States. His credentials include being a Global Information Security Professional (GISP), a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and a Certified Information Privacy Professional for United States law (CIPP/US). In managing the national Constangy Cyber Team, Hoar continues to manage responses to complex data breaches, and works with information security personnel and corporate executives in managing and mitigating cyber risk.

Hoar earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, a master’s degree from Florida State University and a bachelor of arts degree from Linfield University, where he was honored in 2021 as the Distinguished Alumni of the Year.

Richard Goldberg

Richard Goldberg is a vice chair of the Constangy Cyber Team and is based in Philadelphia. He has extensive experience managing responses to data privacy and security incidents with special expertise assisting clients with complex regulatory matters related to data security. Goldberg has managed all sizes and types of data security incidents, including matters affecting millions of consumers and spanning dozens of countries. As a former cyber attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Goldberg provides clients with more than 25 years of experience managing cyber matters. Goldberg is uniquely experienced in investigating and prosecuting cyber and intellectual property crime and aiding victims of those crimes, utilizing the knowledge gained from his time as one of the U.S. Department of Justice’s specially trained cybercrime prosecutors. While a cybercrime prosecutor, he served in multiple leadership positions within the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, one of the country’s largest federal prosecution offices. 

Goldberg has extensive experience with crisis management, having served as chief attorney preparing federal, state, and local agencies for National Special Security Events (major public events of international significance considered by the government to be terrorism targets) and managing those events.

Throughout his career, Goldberg has been widely recognized for his leadership in the cybersecurity space. He served as chair of the NetDiligence International Cyber Risk Summit and is a frequent speaker on ransomware, cyber insurance, and the regulatory environment. He is a Fulbright Specialist for the U.S. Department of State, and twice received the Director’s Award, one of the highest awards bestowed upon Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Goldberg also received the Chief Postal Inspector’s Award and multiple commendations from federal agencies. He serves as an adjunct professor at Villanova Law School, teaching Crime and Emerging Technology.

Goldberg earned his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center where he served as an editor for the American Criminal Law Review, and he earned a bachelor of arts degree from Brown University.

Lindsay Nickle

Lindsay Nickle serves as a vice chair of the Constangy Cyber Team and practices in Dallas. Nickle has extensive experience managing responses to data privacy and security incidents. Although she has managed hundreds of responses to all sizes and types of data security incidents, she has unique experience managing incidents subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). She has managed some of the largest and most complex healthcare-related incidents in the world. Nickle also has substantial experience assisting clients with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). She is uniquely positioned to gauge third-party liability, having served as a trial attorney in healthcare and financial regulatory matters for more than 20 years before beginning to manage responses to data privacy and security incidents. In helping clients mitigate the risk of that liability, she regularly facilitates training and workshops on data security. Nickle holds the U.S. Certified Information Privacy Professional for United States law (CIPP/US) credential and is a recognized leader in the cyber risk management industry, serving on the Advisory Board for Advisen Cyber Risk Insights Conferences. She also regularly serves as a featured speaker on topics related to cyber insurance, cyber risk mitigation, and data privacy regulation. Nickle earned her law degree from Baylor Law School where she served as managing editor of the Baylor Law Review and graduated cum laude. She obtained her bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, from Baylor University.

Sarah Rugnetta

Sarah Rugnetta serves as a vice chair of the Constangy Cyber Team and practices in New York. She leads the provision of compliance advisory services for the Cyber Team, advising clients on strategies to mitigate risk associated with data privacy and security through business-oriented approaches. Rugnetta has more than 15 years of experience working in the privacy law area. She is a former privacy officer, a former state regulator, and has extensive experience serving as outside counsel for businesses in the fields of health law, data privacy, regulatory compliance and risk management. She is well-versed in advising clients on the scope and applicability of domestic and international data privacy laws, conducting data privacy assessments, creating data privacy programs, and leading employee and executive trainings and tabletop exercises. Rugnetta also assists clients with developing third-party management programs to mitigate risks posed by vendor relationships, in addition to drafting and negotiating technology contracts, licenses, and data use agreements. Additionally, she provides guidance to businesses throughout all phases of an information security incident, helping clients both anticipate and effectively respond to any potential threats.

A former Assistant General Counsel with the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, Rugnetta regularly interfaces with state and federal agencies in response to investigations, enforcement actions and compliance audits. In addition, she worked as a Program and Policy Advisor for the United States Agency for International Development in New Delhi, India, where she provided guidance on health and gender programs. Rugnetta holds the Certified Information Privacy Professional for European law (CIPP/E) credential.

Rugnetta earned her undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University and her law degree from the University at Buffalo Law School.

Allen Sattler

Allen Sattler is a partner and a vice chair of the Constangy Cyber Team, and he is based in Orange County, California. Sattler has managed responses to hundreds of data security incidents, having been doing so full-time over the past several years. He has managed responses to incidents in all business sectors and with businesses of all sizes. Sattler regularly facilitates digital forensics investigations for clients who have experienced a cyber incident. He also regularly assesses consumer and regulatory notification obligations, frequently representing businesses in regulatory investigations pertaining to privacy and data breach notification laws.

As a result of his time spent on secondment with a major Lloyd's syndicate in 2013, Sattler has a unique understanding of cyber insurance, and often advises cyber insurers on coverage matters. He is a featured speaker on cyber insurance, cyber risk mitigation, responding to ransomware attacks, and data privacy and security-related topics. Sattler holds the Certified Information Privacy Professional for U.S. laws (CIPP/US) credential.

He earned his law degree from St. Louis University School of Law, cum laude, and earned a bachelor of science degree in Information Management and Technology, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University.

Alyssa Watzman

Alyssa Watzman serves as a vice chair of the Constangy Cyber Team and is located in Denver. She has extensive experience managing responses to data security incidents, having been managing them full-time for more than five years. She also has in-depth experience working with cyber insurance carriers on special programs for businesses. While managing responses to data security incidents, Watzman also provides clients with proactive data privacy and information security training. She has unique insights on the importance of mitigating data privacy and security liability due to her prior experience defending clients in complex regulatory investigations. In managing responses to data security incidents, Watzman frequently facilitates digital forensics investigations, network restoration projects, and ransom negotiation. She regularly assesses consumer and regulatory notification obligations and helps clients with compliance. Watzman is also a frequent featured speaker on cyber insurance, data privacy and security, and risk mitigation through proactive programs.

Watzman previously worked as a litigation associate at an AmLaw 100 firm in New York, and she began her legal career with internships at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Labor. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland, magna cum laude. Watzman obtained her law degree from New York University School of Law, where she was a Robert McKay Scholar and worked as an editor on the Annual Survey of American Law.

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About Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete offers a wider lens on workplace law. We have counseled employers exclusively since 1946. With offices in 21 states, we are one of the largest labor and employment law practices in the U.S. Constangy has been named as a top firm for women and minorities by organizations including Working Mother Magazine, Law360, the National Law Journal and Vault.com. Many of our more than 200 attorneys have been recognized by leading authorities such as Chambers USA®, The Best Lawyers in America® and Martindale- Hubbell. Find out more about us online at www.constangy.com or follow us on Twitter @ConstangyLaw.

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Here we grow again! Constangy is pleased to welcome 32 experienced attorneys in a significant expansion of the firm’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice. The attorneys who will be joining the Constangy Cyber Team are located across 17 cities in 12 states, and are driving the opening of new offices for Constangy in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle and Washington, D.C. To learn more about the Constangy Cyber Team, click here.