January 29, 2018
By Xiumei Dong
Jennifer Martin, a former in-house lawyer at Symantec who joined Covington & Burling’s Silicon Valley office in 2016, is headed to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s office in San Francisco. Credit: Jason Doiy / The Recorder
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has hired Jennifer Martin to boost its cybersecurity, privacy and data innovation team in Silicon Valley.
Martin officially joined Orrick on Monday as the 10th partner in a 17-lawyer group at the firm dedicated to cybersecurity, privacy and data protection matters. Before coming to Orrick, Martin was most recently of counsel at Covington & Burling in Redwood Shores, California, where she led the firm’s West Coast cybersecurity practice and served as co-chair of its Internet of Things initiative.
“I was drawn to Orrick in part because its culture is shaped by its historic California roots,” Martin said. “With both a global footprint and a deep understanding of what is happening in Silicon Valley, [Orrick] provides a great platform for a tech-based practice. Orrick’s focus on technology, including emerging companies, and its strategic vision for its cyber, privacy and data innovation practice presented a very exciting opportunity.”
Martin developed an interest in the cybersecurity space when she was hired as a cyber-crime specialist at the U.S. Department of Justice’s computer crime and intellectual property section in 1999. Later, Martin moved to the New York County District Attorney’s Office in 2004, where she helped to set up the office’s computer crime capabilities in Manhattan.
“I was hired by the Justice Department’s computer crime section in the late 1990s in part because, as a lawyer with programming and technical experience, I wasn’t afraid of computers,” said Martin, noting that her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics helped her gained a better understanding of computer systems. Martin earned her law degree in 1995 from the University of Illinois College of Law.
After her roles with state and federal government, Martin (pictured left) then spent time in a variety of industries that allowed her to tackle cybersecurity from a broader perspective, including as a managing director at cybersecurity and forensic consulting firm Stroz Friedberg in New York and as the lead in-house internal investigations counsel at Mountain View, California-based security systems provider Symantec Corp.
“I went back and forth between the legal and technical sides of cybersecurity over my career because the law was not mature in the area, and I was fascinated with the field,“ Martin said. “Even a couple of years ago there were very few legal jobs focused on cybersecurity issues.”
Martin, who left Symantec for Covington in early 2016, said her experience working in the legal, business and technology sectors helps her to effectively communicate with technical teams on regulatory compliance issues.
“Jenny has a set of skills and perspectives that clients find very valuable,” said Aravind Swaminathan, the co-chair of Orrick’s cybersecurity, privacy and data innovation team.
Swaminathan added that Martin’s diverse background will allow her to assist clients in better understanding the regulatory compliance landscape, advise them on building out their own in-house security team and guide them in a new era of data innovation, including the Internet of Things. (In November, Orrick launched its own in-house technology incubator called Orrick Labs, which seeks to develop efficient technologies for the firm.)
“The Internet of Things ecosystem, for example, is growing bigger and bigger every day,” said Swaminathan, who joined Orrick’s Seattle office three years ago this month from DLA Piper. “We know we need to respond as a practice to serve that ecosystem, and she has real subject matter expertise in that area.”
Swaminathan said Orrick started its cybersecurity and data privacy group in 2008. The team has expanded every year—Orrick opened an office last year in Santa Monica—and Martin was the fifth addition to the firm’s practice in the past 18 months. About two-thirds of the lawyers in the group are female, added Swaminathan.
“There is still a problem with diversity in tech, especially with encouraging women into cybersecurity careers,” said Martin, who has been an advocate for women in the technology sector. Martin said she was particularly attracted to Orrick because of the firm’s diversity