(John B. Reilly)
Only a day before U.S. intelligence officials released Friday a detailed account of a broad campaign of cyberactivities allegedly commissioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin to influence the 2016 presidential election, Jones Day, a firm with close ties to President-elect Donald Trump, announced it would beef up its cybersecurity capabilities by hiring litigator Richard Martinez.
“Cybersecurity and data privacy issues have become increasingly important as business information technologies have expanded and evolved,” said a statement by Jones Day partner and Minneapolis office head Brian Easley, who helped the firm set up shop in the Twin Cities six months ago. “Rick brings a wealth of experience in data privacy and business technology issues that will enhance the firm’s ability to represent our clients in complex legal matters relating to cybersecurity.”
Martinez spent nearly 23 years at Robins Kaplan, a Minneapolis-based firm that shortened its shingle two years ago this month following the departure of a former name partner. Martinez chaired the cybersecurity litigation team at the firm, where he represented Fortune 100 companies and startup technology companies on a wide array of data privacy, cybersecurity and IP matters.
The newly-minted Jones Day partner sees his move to the firm as an opportunity to expand his practice on an international scale, mirroring the pervasiveness of cybersecurity troubles for companies and governments.
“I’m really excited at the prospects [at Jones Day],” Martinez said Friday. “Particularly as the practice of law is crossing borders and with data protection and data privacy issues now becoming global issues.”
Martinez, who started his career at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, a Minneapolis firm that merged a little over a year ago with Fox Rothschild, joins Jones Day as a partner in its cybersecurity, privacy and data protection practice. The American Lawyer reported last year on Jones Day’s bid to bolster its cyber bonafides. (The firm’s practice is led by Los Angeles-based partner Daniel McAloon, whose clients have included celebrities like Cher and Michael Jackson.)
The departure of Martinez from Robins Kaplan is the second such partner-level defection from the firm in recent weeks. Ronald Chillemi (pictured right), a former insurance fraud prosecutor in New Jersey who joined Robins Kaplan’s New York office in December 2015, left the firm last month to become senior vice president of enforcement and litigation at Fanatics Inc., an online retailer of licensed sports apparel. Chillemi did not return a request for comment.
Robins Kaplan did not return requests for comment about the departures of Chillemi and Martinez. Jones Day, for its part, also saw two partners recently leave its ranks. In London, European antitrust expert Alan Davis left the firm to return to Pinsent Masons, according to sibling publication Legal Week. Bernard Bell, an insurance recovery and disputes partner who joined Jones Day in 2008 from dissolving Heller Ehrman, also left the firm this month for Miller Friel in Washington, D.C.
Stuart TenHoor, a legal recruiter in Columbia, Maryland, brokered Bell’s move to the boutique.