Theodore J. Kobus III

Partner

New York
T +1.212.271.1504
F +1.212.589.4201

"Ted is very responsive. He strikes the right balance between urgency and the rationality of calm."

— Chambers USA 2017

Overview

Ted Kobus focuses his practice in the areas of privacy, data security and intellectual property. He advises clients, trade groups and organizations regarding data security and privacy risks, including compliance, developing breach response strategies, defense of regulatory actions and defense of class action litigation. Ted counsels clients involved in breaches implicating domestic and international laws, as well as other regulations and requirements. Having led more than 2,000 data breach responses, Ted has respected relationships with regulators involved in privacy concerns as well as deep experience to help clients confront privacy issues during the compliance risk management stages. He is invested in his client relationships and approaches engagements practically and thoughtfully.

Ted is the firmwide leader of the firm's Privacy and Data Protection team and currently serves on the Policy Committee. He is ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and was one of only three attorneys named an MVP by Law360 for Privacy and Consumer Protection in 2013. Ted is a regular contributor to BakerHostetler's Data Privacy Monitor blog and regularly speaks at major industry events regarding data breach response, risk management and litigation issues affecting privacy, including being the only private attorney to speak at the National Association of Attorneys General on data security issues.

Select Experience

  • Leading the breach response, regulatory defense and class action defense of a massive credit card breach on behalf of a large, privately held retailer. Guided the client through the initial investigation of a criminal attack and a payment processing network, including the engagement of a forensics team and collaboration with government entities to pursue the attackers. Led the defense against six putative class actions, a single plaintiff lawsuit and inquiries from state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, convincing the regulator not only to close the investigation against the client but to establish the client as a victim in the breach. Developed a strategic plan to defend against lawsuits and actions filed in six different state and federal jurisdictions and negotiated settlements with putative plaintiffs. Continues to defend the client against demands by issuing banks alleging losses related to fraudulent charges and card reissuance costs, and provides guidance to the client regarding obligations held to the payment processor under specific regulations.

  • Leads an engagement with a health system providing advice on breach analysis, notification obligations, crisis management, investigation of incident and regulatory compliance following the theft of computers containing information of approximately 4 million patients. Coordinates the breach investigation, including a forensics team, and leads the breach response, crisis management and the notification of all patients and physicians affected. Leads the post-breach response as well, involving the resolution of patient complaints and regulatory investigations. Assisting and advising the client in responses to investigations initiated by government agencies. Has led the response to nearly half of the 12 largest Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act breaches announced to date.

  • Develops incident response plans and privacy policies, provides proactive incident response training

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Experience

  • Leading the breach response, regulatory defense and class action defense of a massive credit card breach on behalf of a large, privately held retailer. Guided the client through the initial investigation of a criminal attack and a payment processing network, including the engagement of a forensics team and collaboration with government entities to pursue the attackers. Led the defense against six putative class actions, a single plaintiff lawsuit and inquiries from state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, convincing the regulator not only to close the investigation against the client but to establish the client as a victim in the breach. Developed a strategic plan to defend against lawsuits and actions filed in six different state and federal jurisdictions and negotiated settlements with putative plaintiffs. Continues to defend the client against demands by issuing banks alleging losses related to fraudulent charges and card reissuance costs, and provides guidance to the client regarding obligations held to the payment processor under specific regulations.

  • Leads an engagement with a health system providing advice on breach analysis, notification obligations, crisis management, investigation of incident and regulatory compliance following the theft of computers containing information of approximately 4 million patients. Coordinates the breach investigation, including a forensics team, and leads the breach response, crisis management and the notification of all patients and physicians affected. Leads the post-breach response as well, involving the resolution of patient complaints and regulatory investigations. Assisting and advising the client in responses to investigations initiated by government agencies. Has led the response to nearly half of the 12 largest Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act breaches announced to date.

  • Develops incident response plans and privacy policies, provides proactive incident response training, and counsels on privacy and security issues globally.

  • Has defended more than 50 investigations brought by all regional offices of the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

  • Defending several Civil Investigative Demands brought by state attorneys general regarding a client's data security practices and compliance with federal and state laws.

  • Defending clients in statutory damage claims brought regarding the collection, use and sharing of customer information.

  • Representing a financial institution following the discovery of malicious software on an employee workstation computer possibly capturing confidential customer information. Coordinating the breach investigation, response strategy and post-breach response, including the resolution of customer complaints and defense of the investigation by banking regulators.

  • Leading the defense of a putative class action seeking damage for a technology client's use of cookies on its website. Filed a Notice of Removal and motion to transfer the venue in state court to preserve the client's rights if the case is ultimately remanded.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers Global: Privacy & Data Protection (USA) (2014 to 2017)
  • Chambers USA: Nationwide Privacy and Data Security (2013 to 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2016, 2017)
    • Recommended in Media, Technology and Telecoms: Cyber law
    • Recommended in Media, Technology and Telecoms: Data protection and privacy
  • National Law Journal "Cybersecurity Trailblazer" (2016)
  • Cybersecurity Docket "Incident Response 30" (2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2016 to 2018)
    • New York: Privacy and Data Security Law
  • Law360: MVP in Privacy & Consumer Protection (2013)
  • Certified Information Privacy Manager

News

News

Press Releases

Featured Video

Ted Kobus: Data Security Incidents: Regulatory Investigations
Play Video
BakerHostetler Partner and National Leader of the Privacy and Data Protection practice discusses what questions regulators ask following an incident, what their expectations are, and the future of these investigations.

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1995
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1995
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York

Education

  • J.D., Widener University School of Law, 1994, cum laude
  • B.S., Purdue University, 1987

Blog

In The Blogs

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Data Privacy Monitor
The Weekly Privacy Rewind
April 18, 2018
Class Actions Uber Data Breach Suits Consolidated in California • The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has settled on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in which to centralize the class actions...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Deeper Dive: Take Action to Close the Largest Cause of Data Security Incidents – Your Employees
By David E. Kitchen
April 17, 2018
If you work at a typical company, employee actions and inadvertent present the greatest threat to the security of your data. Therefore, providing proper training and technical safeguards is one of the most important means to enhance your...
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Data Privacy Monitor
The Weekly Privacy Rewind
By Julie A. Hein, Aaron R. Lancaster
April 11, 2018
Canada Data Breach Notification Provisions of PIPEDA Act Go Into Effect Nov. 1, 2018 • Pursuant to a March 26, 2018 Order in Council, the mandatory breach notification provisions of Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Deeper Dive: Key findings From Baker Hostetler's 2018 Data Security Incident Report
By Laura E. Jehl
April 10, 2018
In our 2018 Data Security Incident Report, “Building Cyber Resilience: Compromise Response Intelligence in Action,” we identify and analyze the most important trends and takeaways from the more than 560 incidents we handled last year...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Fourth Annual Data Security Incident Response Report Released – Building Cyber Resilience
By Theodore J. Kobus III
March 28, 2018
On Monday we published our fourth annual Data Security Incident Response Report, which provides an analysis of the more than 560 cyber incidents handled by the team in 2017. Reflecting on the increasingly sophisticated nature of attacks...
Read More ->