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Roy E. Hadley Jr.

Special Counsel

It is said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. To this end, I look forward to being of service to you as you work to create your future.

For more than 30 years, Roy has been a trusted advisor to high growth businesses, governments, and family/closely held businesses. Roy’s practice, which is international in scope, includes advising clients worldwide on complex corporate transactions, particularly those involving technology, cybersecurity, life sciences, economic development, telecommunications, outsourcing and intellectual property.

With a nod to our increasingly digital world, Roy provides guidance to a wide array of governments, governmental entities, and companies (and their boards) on issues related to data security and privacy.

Roy’s work as independent counsel on cybersecurity matters helps governmental officials and corporate boards understand and mitigate legal and operational risks and exposures to protect themselves and the companies/governments they serve. He also helps clients to respond to and recover from attacks should an event happen.

Roy’s business experience includes serving as vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of a wireless communications company, as vice president, general counsel and chief privacy officer for an international travel services and technology company and as in-house counsel for a pair of telecommunications corporations. Roy also served as special counsel to the president of the American Bar Association and as special assistant attorney general for the State of Georgia.

Roy also counsels clients on business matters affected by personal and family dynamics, including business succession planning, legacy planning, family governance and intergenerational issues. He focuses on helping closely held businesses and families protect their interests and achieve their goals in times of transition or crisis.

A frequent speaker, lecturer and author, Roy has writings that have appeared on USAToday.com, FOXNews.com, Compliance Week, Healthcare Risk Management, Inside Counsel, Homeland Security Today, National Law Review, Sports Page Weekly, Law 360 and many other publications. He has also appeared on Georgia Public Broadcasting, TAG Radio, WXIA-TV (Tech Edge) and WUPA-TV (Focus Atlanta).

Professional Activities

  • Technology Association of Georgia, Information Security Society, Board Chair
  • Technology Association of Georgia, Leadership Council, Board Member
  • National Technology Security Coalition, Advisory Board Member
  • Founding Member - Center for Local & State Government Cyber Preparedness

Experience

  • Assisting the City of Atlanta is responding to the ransomware attack against the City in March 2018, which was one of the largest attacks against a municipality in the United States.
  • Assisting clients in the cyber insurance procurement process, program review and claims process, including loss settlement and recovery.
  • Assisting in crisis communications, including incident public relations and messaging.
  • Counseling boards, board committees and high-level government officials on cybersecurity and privacy best practices, compliance and governance.
  • Coordinating table-top exercises for companies across multiple sectors.
  • Assisting in data breach response and remediation including notification compliance for numerous companies.
  • Drafting/reviewing online terms of use and data usage policies.
  • Drafting/reviewing international privacy policies and data transfer policies.
  • Drafting and negotiating cloud storage and data hosting agreements to reduce costs for a client while maintaining safety and security of personally identifiable information.
  • Helping numerous clients across sectors comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Assisting numerous clients in compliance with various state laws, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
  • Assisting clients with data breach mitigation and response, compliance with reporting and notification requirements and risk mitigation.
  • Assisting clients with cybersecurity assessments and evaluations.
  • Assisting clients in coordinating with federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Secret Service and the FBI.
  • Assisting numerous global clients in developing global privacy and information management policies and procedures.
  • Reviewing website design policies and compliance.

Publications and Engagements

  • Interviewed, “A Look Inside the City of Atlanta's Legal Department during the Biggest Ransomware Attack on a Local Government”, Corporate Counsel Online, March 2019.
  • Video Interview, “The 2018 Atlanta Ransomware Attack”, In The House's Cybersecurity & Privacy Working Group, March 2019.
  • Interviewed, “Wrestling with Atlanta’s Ransomware Attack”, CyberInsecurity News, March 2019.
  • Author, “Thinking of Expanding Your Business Overseas? Your Cyber Security Compliance Just Got More Complicated”, Risk & Insurance Magazine, December 2018.
  • Co-Author, “The Chief Privacy Officer: The New ‘Must Have", Association of Corporate Counsel’s ACC Docket, December 2018.
  • Author, “Cyberinsurance Now a Necessity, But Choose Coverage Wisely”, Healthcare Risk Management Magazine, December 2018.
  • Author, “Vendor Management: The Key to Operational Success”, Retail Insights Online and Health IT Outcomes Online, November 2018.
  • Author, "Elections: The Hidden Security Danger for Governments", ALM Cybersecurity Law & Strategy Magazine, November 2018.
  • Author, "Cryptojacking: The Growing Malware Menace", SC Magazine, October 2018.
  • Author, “Cybersecurity for Government: Lessons from the Front Line”, Cybersecurity Law & Strategy Online, October 2018.
  • Quoted, "Lessons from Atlanta: a post-mortem on the city's massive ransomware incident", Government Technology Magazine, October 2018.
  • Author, “Cyber-attacks are coming. Are you prepared?”, American City & County Magazine, September 2018.
  • Author, "The Chief Privacy Officer: A Must Hire in Today’s Complex Digital World", The Compliance and Ethics Blog, August 2018.
  • Author, “Data Here, Data There, Data Everywhere”, Corporate Compliance Insights, August 2018.
  • Author, "Emails and Encryption: What is a Lawyer to Do?", Fulton County Daily Report, July 2018.
  • Co-Author, "Enhanced Cybersecurity Measures Required in Alabama’s Data Breach Notification Law", Adams & Reese LLP, April 2018.
  • Interview, WABE, “Georgia SB315 - Computer Crimes”, March 2018.
  • Interview, WABE, “Georgia SB315 - Computer Crimes”, February 2018.
  • “FERC Proposes Cybersecurity Incident Reporting Rule,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, January 2018
  • “EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Review Confirms Adequacy and Suggests Improvements,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, October 2017
  • “FTC Increases Focus on Smart Toys with COPPA Update,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, August 2017
  • “Court Finds Work Product Doctrine Protects Data Breach Records,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, June 2017
  • Quoted, “Atlanta Health Care Startup Modeled On Bitcoin Technology,” WABE 90.1, April 2017

Presentations

  • Moderator, “Preventing Cyber Attacks on Municipalities: Best Practices Learned”, Technology Association of Georgia and Adams and Reese, May 2019.
  • Presenter, “Best Practices and Lessons Learned from the Front Lines”, National Threat Security Coalition, New York, NY, April 2019.
  • Panelist, “Will a Cybersecurity Expert Please Stand Up?”, Local Government Law Seminar, City of Atlanta Department of Law, March 2019.
  • Panelist, ACC Foundation Cybersecurity Summit, Table Top Exercise, Washington, D.C., January 2019.
  • Facilitator, "Cyber Security for Wealth Managers", December 2018.
  • Panelist, SafeAmerica Forum - "Cyber Security: Lessons Learned", Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, November 2018.
  • Panelist, "Local Governments: Lessons Learned", International Municipal Lawyers Association, Houston, Texas, October 2018.
  • Panelist, “Building a Culture of Cybersecurity Professionals”, September 2018.
  • Panelist, "Cyber Due Diligence in M&A Transactions", April 2018.
  • Moderator, “CIO Summit”, Technology Association of Georgia, October 2017.
  • Presenter and Board Chair, “Technology Association of Georgia 2017 Cyber-Security Simulation and Table-Top Exercise”, February 2017.
  • Presenter and Board Chair, “Technology Association of Georgia 2016 Cyber-Security Simulation and Table-Top Exercise,” May 2016.
  • Panelist, “CIO Roundtable”, October 2016.
  • Participant, Technology Association of Georgia, Tech Celebrity “TIC TEC KNO” roundtable event, Atlanta, March 2016.
  • Panelist, European American Chamber of Commerce, EU-US Privacy roundtable with privacy activist Max Schrems, New York, February 2016.

Education

  • University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 1988
  • Terry College of Business, B.B.A., 1985

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia Bar

Community Involvement

Roy served on the board of the Chastain Bark Conservancy and the Corporate Leadership Council of Fernbank Museum of Natural History. He is active in the Boy Scouts of America, where both he and his son are Eagle Scouts.

Acknowledgements

Roy is AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected by several publications for various honors. He was tabbed a Cyber Security Visionary by USBE & IT Magazine in 2012, listed among Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Lawyers in 2013, honored by Legal 500 in Mergers, Acquisitions and Buyouts in 2014, a “Minority Powerbroker” by Law360, as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers” by Savoy Magazine in 2015 and a “Game Changer” in information security by Hub Magazine in 2016. Most recently, he was presented the “Pinnacle Leadership Award” from the Fortitude Educational and Cultural Development Center in 2017. Roy has been named to Best Lawyers in America® in Privacy and Data Security Law.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Roy is a member of the Atlanta Bar Association and the Georgia Bar Association. He is a former board member of the Atlanta Legal Diversity Consortium and is currently on the Technology Marketing Council of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce as well as an Advisory Committee Member of the United States Law Firm Group Diversity Committee. He served on the board of the Atlanta branch of the South African Business Chamber of Commerce, and he is currently the board chair of the Technology Association of Georgia Information Security Society and is an advisory board member of the National Technology Security Coalition.

Roy’s representative experience in cybersecurity and privacy includes:

  • Assisting companies and governments in cyber breach response, remediation and recovery.
  • Assisting companies and governments in cyber security assessments designed to help to prevent cyber-attacks and the resulting business, operational and reputational damage.
  • Assisting pharmaceutical companies in developing global privacy and information management policies and procedures.
  • Drafting international privacy policies and data transfer policies, including privacy shield and general data protection regulation.
  • Drafting and negotiating cloud storage and data hosting agreements to reduce costs for a client while maintaining safety and security of personally identifiable information.

His representative experience in corporate law includes:

  • Assisting a life science company with clinical trial and managed services agreements.
  • Counseling client in a complex property acquisition and restructuring in multi-party bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Serving as lead counsel in complex outsourcing arrangement for telecommunications and computing sales for state government.
  • Counseling clients in the sale of a closely held family business to multiple private equity concerns.

His representative experience internationally includes:

  • Representing a large United States manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment in multiple African countries and facilitating joint ventures with local partners throughout Africa.
  • Representing African companies in accessing United States technologies, facilitating technology transfers, and negotiating licensing and distribution rights in southern and western Africa.
  • Assisting a United States-based commodities trading company in establishing distribution, warehousing and trading operations for perishable commodities in Liberia and western Africa.

Roy’s representative experience in entertainment and media includes:

  • Serving as co-lead on a $330 million purchase and corporate restructuring for a large, privately held media group.
  • Counseling athletes and entertainers on endorsements, business opportunities, social media and other contractual matters.
  • Counseling a client on convergence and interactive media technologies, content distribution and enhanced broadband/multimedia applications.