Alston & Bird has expanded its privacy and cybersecurity capabilities with the addition of former federal prosecutor Lawrence “Larry” Sommerfeld as partner in the firm’s Atlanta office.
A former assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) and head of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Unit for the Northern District of Georgia, Sommerfeld led one of the top cyber-crime investigation and prosecution units in the country. He was also a member of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Working Group, where he advised the DOJ on emerging cybersecurity and privacy issues.
Most recently, Sommerfeld served as chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Appeals and Legal Advice Section, overseeing the work of almost 100 prosecutors and supervising all aspects of appellate litigation, including the filing of more than 650 briefs and 100 oral arguments. He also was a member of the DOJ’s Appellate Chiefs Working Group, which advises U.S. attorneys and consults with the Oﬃce of the Solicitor General about the U.S. position on the latest and most pressing legal issues.
“Larry has been on the front lines of federal law enforcement for more than 15 years and has played an indispensable role in guiding the DOJ’s work on cyber crime and data security issues,” said Jim Harvey, partner and co-chair of Alston & Bird’s Privacy & Data Security Practice. “He brings an extraordinary background and experience in cybersecurity and data protection that make him an invaluable resource for clients in meeting the challenges of complex legal issues, evolving national and cross-border regulations, and escalating cybersecurity risks.”
As an AUSA, Sommerfeld led the successful prosecution of one of the world’s leading cybercrime rings that hacked a major payment processor in 2008 and, within 12 hours, withdrew $9.4 million from more than 2,100 ATM terminals in 280 cities worldwide. His role in the case earned him the 2010 United States Attorney’s Office Award and nomination for the 2014 Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award.
“The ATM breach was one of the most sophisticated and organized computer fraud attacks ever conducted, and Larry’s leadership in prosecuting the case was exceptional,” said Kim Peretti, partner and co-chair of Alston & Bird’s Cybersecurity Preparedness & Response Team and a former senior litigator in the DOJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section who worked closely with Sommerfeld on the case. “I’m delighted to partner with Larry again as we work with clients to adopt business-driven cybersecurity and data protection strategies that provide resiliency against the growing complexity and volume of cyberattacks.”
Sommerfeld joins a number of former state and federal prosecutors who have established successful practices at Alston & Bird in recent years, including: George Abney, Jeff Belkin, Mark Calloway, Dan Jarcho, Bill Jordan, Ted Kang, Jenny Kramer, Mitch Mitchelson, Paul Monnin, Bruce Pasfield, Kim Peretti, Spence Pryor, John Snyder, Kyle Wallace, and Thomas Walker.
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to add another former federal prosecutor to our team,” said Janine Brown, partner in charge of Alston & Bird’s Atlanta office. “With cybersecurity and data protection at the top of the agenda for most every CEO and corporate board, Larry adds tremendous bench strength as we work with clients to help them develop the organizational muscle for preventing and managing data breaches.”