Melinda L. McLellan

Partner

New York
T +1.212.589.4679
F +1.212.589.4201

Overview

Melinda McLellan is a seasoned privacy and cybersecurity law advisor whose practice focuses on the regulation of emerging technologies, compliance with evolving U.S. state and federal privacy legislation, and cross-border data protection matters. As co-leader of the firm’s EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) initiative, Melinda works with multinational clients to identify, evaluate and manage the myriad of compliance obligations associated with corporate privacy and information security practices. Her broader practice includes advising on a wide variety of privacy and data security issues, including the use of biometrics, securing the Internet of Things, implementation of blockchain technologies, cybersecurity threats to the financial services and energy sectors, autonomous vehicles, genetic privacy, artificial intelligence, Big Data, information security incident response, and negotiating complex tech transactions.

Select Experience

  • Advises on compliance with international data transfer restrictions and data localization requirements, including through the implementation of cross-border transfer mechanisms such as the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, standard contractual clauses, intercompany agreements and binding corporate rules. Additionally, developed and implemented EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance programs for numerous US and international organizations, including GDPR applicability analysis, data mapping, data transfer mechanisms, consent mechanisms, “right to be forgotten,” data security assessments, breach response programs, selection of Data Protection Officers and employee training.
  • Manages complex technology transactions on both the vendor side and the customer side, drafting and negotiating multiparty contracts and outsourcing agreements from the RFP through follow-up compliance assessments.
  • Advises companies on new requirements under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), including by developing broad-based compliance strategies to address other pending state and federal privacy legislation.
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Experience

  • Advises on compliance with international data transfer restrictions and data localization requirements, including through the implementation of cross-border transfer mechanisms such as the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, standard contractual clauses, intercompany agreements and binding corporate rules. Additionally, developed and implemented EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance programs for numerous US and international organizations, including GDPR applicability analysis, data mapping, data transfer mechanisms, consent mechanisms, “right to be forgotten,” data security assessments, breach response programs, selection of Data Protection Officers and employee training.
  • Manages complex technology transactions on both the vendor side and the customer side, drafting and negotiating multiparty contracts and outsourcing agreements from the RFP through follow-up compliance assessments.
  • Advises companies on new requirements under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), including by developing broad-based compliance strategies to address other pending state and federal privacy legislation.
  • Counsels clients on regulatory compliance strategies and best practices for private-sector use of cloud computing solutions, biometric authentication, facial recognition technology, geolocation tracking systems, mobile applications, behavioral marketing tools, social media platforms, data analytics services and other emerging technologies.  
  • Works with cross-disciplinary teams to devise and implement clear, concise, non-obtrusive and legally compliant disclosures regarding data management practices as well as opt-in and opt-out mechanisms for the collection, use and sharing of sensitive information.
  • Manages all aspects of information security breach response, including evaluating legal and regulatory notification obligations, developing written communications for affected populations and internal stakeholders, refining media messaging strategies, coordinating forensic investigations, working with law enforcement authorities, and interfacing directly with state and federal regulators.
  • Prepares cyber risk exposure analyses, disclosure statements and supporting materials for publicly traded companies and entities preparing for IPOs and other corporate transactions.
  • Advises clients on legal risks and best practices associated with background checks, employee monitoring and Bring Your Own Device programs, including by developing internal policies and protocols and implementing mobile device management systems. 
  • Drafts and negotiates privacy and data security provisions for commercial contracts, including service provider agreements; assists clients with remediation of privacy and data security deficiencies and lacunae in legacy vendor contracts.
  • Conducts thorough assessments of third-party vendor candidates to evaluate data protection posture and compliance readiness prior to engagement, then assists with oversight and enforcement of privacy and security representations over the course of the service agreement. 
  • Devises privacy and information security awareness programs and training modules for personnel, typically deploying a multitiered, risk-based approach to account for varying degrees of employee access to, and responsibility for, sensitive data.
  • Conducts in-house security training and tabletop exercises to build awareness and help companies prepare to effectively and efficiently manage data security threats and incidents.
  • Counsels clients on information governance practices and the development of records retention, maintenance and destruction policies and procedures.
  • Implements insider threat analysis tools for organizations, particularly in the financial sector, to detect and prevent security incidents and facilitate integrated enterprisewide security solutions.
  • Provides data protection counseling to a variety of technology companies and outsource vendors that offer big data analytics and complex fraud detection and prevention services.
  • Works directly with in-house counsel, internal stakeholders and third-party technologists to develop complex privacy and information security policies, procedures, protocols, guidelines and notices.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • New York Metro Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2012 to 2018)
  • New York Super Lawyers "Top Women Attorneys" (2012 to 2018)
  • New York State Bar Association: Empire State Counsel (2007 to 2013)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2017 to 2019)
    • Next Generation Lawyer in Media, Technology and Telecoms - Cyber Law (including data privacy and protection)

Memberships

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
    • Certified Information Privacy Professional – United States (CIPP/US)
    • Certified Information Privacy Professional – Europe (CIPP/E)
  • Women in eDiscovery, New York City Chapter
  • The Sedona Conference: Working Group 11, Data Security and Privacy Liability 

News

News

Press Releases

Blog Posts

Pro Bono

  • New York City Bar Justice Center, Legal Clinic for the Homeless
  • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Election Protection Program
  • Successfully represented a West African victim of gender-based violence seeking asylum in the United States before the Department of Homeland Security

Admissions

  • New York

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 2005; Executive Editor, Harvard International Law Journal
  • B.A., Political Science and French Studies, Rice University, 2000

Languages

  • French
  • Italian

Blog

In The Blogs

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Data Privacy Monitor
CCPA Exceptions: What Qualifies as Activity ‘Wholly Outside' of California?
By Arielle L. Brown, Melinda L. McLellan
September 18, 2019
Much has been said about the scope of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the far-reaching implications the law will have on businesses throughout the United States. Although it is true that the territorial reach of the law is...
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Data Privacy Monitor
CCPA Amendment Progress Report: July Update
By Taylor A. Bloom, Melinda L. McLellan
July 25, 2019
As we reported in April, May and June, a number of potentially significant amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) continue to make their way through the state legislative process. Below we provide a summary of recent...
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Data Privacy Monitor
EU Updates: ePrivacy Regulation Inches Forward, EDPB Issues Guidance on Interplay Between GDPR and ePrivacy Directive
By Kyle R. Fath, Melinda L. McLellan
July 17, 2019
Adoption of the ePrivacy Regulation Introduced in 2017, and originally slated to go into effect with the GDPR (on May 25, 2018), it now appears the ePrivacy Regulation will not be implemented before late 2021. With the Romanian...
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Data Privacy Monitor
In BIPA's Wake, a Wave of New Biometric Privacy Proposals
By Robyn M. Feldstein, Melinda L. McLellan
April 15, 2019
Over the past year, a host of new national, state and local laws have been introduced to regulate the collection and use of biometric information. Although these proposals vary in their requirements, certain elements appear to be inspired...
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AD-ttorneys Law Blog
What's In the Box? FTC Solicits Public Comments Regarding Video Game Loot Boxes Amidst Uncertainty
By Carolina A. Alonso, Melinda L. McLellan, Amy Ralph Mudge
April 9, 2019
Imagine you are playing golf, badly, and at the fourth hole a caddy appears out of nowhere with a large box and an offer. In exchange for $20, you can open the box, which may contain high-tech clubs to improve your game, fashionable new...
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