Overview

Christopher Ott ("Chris") provides strategic legal counsel to resolve actual or potential disputes related to complex technologies, particularly those involving blockchain and cybersecurity technology. A decorated former federal prosecutor, Chris has won over thirty jury trials involving complicated technology-related disputes and has been lead attorney on hundreds more disputes. Although highly experienced in litigation throughout the country, his goal is to devise innovative, effective compliance and litigation strategies without losing sight of business realities.

Complex businesses, built on complex technologies, can create complex challenges. This is where Chris does his work. He helps clients deal with their most technically sophisticated risks in disputes and investigations, and assists in the development of strategy relating to data security, privacy, blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI) issues. Other attorneys in the field offer a compliance perspective –Chris helps clients to craft the best way to overcome their challenges and reach their goal.

Where complexity is unavoidable, he helps shepherd clients through intricate business and regulatory challenges. Beginning with the first meeting, at which he discusses the business realities of their industry, Chris and the client walk through the likely civil litigation, criminal, and regulatory risks, opportunities, and scenarios. He then works with them to develop a strategic plan that takes into account their unique situation, priorities, and goals. Most importantly, instead of saying “no” to an idea, Chris works with clients on how to get to “yes.”

Getting to “yes” often isn’t simple. Chris’s practice includes internal investigations related to data leakage and privacy events; data breach responses for various industries (including health care); white collar defense; privacy and data security incidents; litigation and compliance counselling on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA); AML and BSA regulatory investigations relating to the use of cryptocurrencies by depository banks; business email compromise litigation; and counseling on how to establish privacy, ethics, and anti-corruption policies to prepare for regulatory inquiries. 

Chris is a seasoned, effective, and innovative trial lawyer with a unique perspective. Because of his experience, he understands exactly what it means to conduct litigation -- and how to avoid it. His experience also makes him very good at preparing witnesses for examination, and able to see multiple possibilities in a dispute – say, securities fraud in a trademark case. Experience and aggressiveness help Chris to see more angles to any dispute. More angles means more strategic moves and better outcomes.

Experience

Elutions S.A.R.L, et al. v. Noble Talents LLC, et al. (Del. Chancery Court 2020)

Vlad Zamfir v. CasperLabs LLC (S.D. Ca. 2021)

In Re Yahoo! Inc. Securities Litigation, 17-cv-00373 (N.D. Ca. 2017)

In Re: DHB Industries, Inc. Class Action Litigation, 05-CV-4296 (E.D. New York) and 08-3860 (Second Circuit)

United States v. Karim Baratov (ND Ca 2017)

United States v. Vitaly Korchevsky, et al., 15-CR-381 (RJD)

United States v. Sandy Winick, et al., 13-CR-452 (ENV)

United States v. Farukh Baig, et al., 13-CR-351 (SJF)

United States v. Thomas Donovan, et al., 12-CR-127 (JS)

United States v. David H. Brooks, et al., 05-CV-688 (JS) & 06-CR-550 (JS)

United States v. Hamad Ali, et al., 06-CR-200 (ENV)

United States v. James Leonard, et al., 02-CR-881 (LDW)

United States v. Michael Romano, et al., 09CR168 (JFB)

United States v. Joseph Romano, et al., 09-CR-170 (SJJ)

United States v. Pedro Tavarez, 11-CR-178 (LDW)

United States v. Rick Abraham Cohen, 11-CR-482 (JS)

Honors & Recognitions

RSA Cybersecurity Expert (2019 Onward)

Assistance Attorney General Award for Excellence, Department of Justice, 2018

National Victim Rights Champion, United States Department of Justice, 2015

Award for Meritorious Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2011

Award for Meritorious Service, Internal Revenue Service, 2011

Award for Meritorious Service, Defense Contracting Investigative Service, 2011

Award for Meritorious Service, Defense Contracting Auditing Agency, 2011

Special Commendation, Money Laundering Unit, London Metropolitan Police

Newsroom

Speaking Engagements

Presenter and Panelist, "Employee and Customer Health Data: Back to Work in the Age of COVID-19," Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) "Back to Work" Virtual Roundtable Series (June 2020)

Presenter, "Alice Ain't Home: Detecting and Countering Foreign Hackers on Social Media," RSA Conference 2020, San Francisco, CA (February 2020)

Panelist, "Checking out of Hotel California: The California Consumer Privacy Act, and Looming Federal Legislation," Consumer Bankers Association Live 2019, Washington, D.C. (April 2019)

Presenter, “Identifying, Preventing and Combatting Cryptocurrency Crimes,” Microsoft Digital Crimes Consortium, Lisbon, Portugal (March 2019)

Panelist, “Cryptocurrency Hacking and the Legal Climate for Blockchain Technology,” RSA Conference, San Francisco, CA (March 2019) (Video Link)

Panelist, "Data Security and Privacy Issues in International Internal Investigations," Compliance, Governance and Oversight Council, Seattle, WA (October 2018)

Publications

Author, "Phantom Responsibility: How Data Security and Privacy Lapses Lead to Personal Liability for Officers and Directors," International Comparative Legal Guide to: Cybersecurity 2022, published by Global Legal Group Ltd. (November 2021)

Author, "Phantom Responsibility: How Data Security and Privacy Lapses Lead to Personal Liability for Officers and Directors," International Comparative Legal Guide to: Cybersecurity 2021, published by Global Legal Group Ltd. (November 2020)

Co-Author, "Risk Mitigation For Social Media Cos. in Light of Trump Order," Law360 Expert Analysis (June 2020)

Author, "How Cyber Cases Can Inform COVID-19 Business Litigation," Law360 Expert Analysis (March 30, 2020)

Author, “Detecting and Mitigating Potential Bias in Automated Decision Making,” JD Supra (December 2019)

Author, “C.L.O.U.D.’s On the Horizon: How Law Enforcement Electronic Data Requests Are Going Global,” Law.com (October 2019)

Author, “Destination Unknown: The Perilous Future of Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Technologies Under the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018,” UCLA Law Review (February 2019)

Author, “INSIGHT: Cracking Open a Can of Worms: Why Carpenter v. United States May Not Be the Privacy Decision That Was Needed ... or Wanted," Bloomberg BNA Privacy & Data Security Law News (July 2018)

Author, “What You Should Know About The 24/7 Cybercrime Network,” Law360 Expert Analysis (June 2018)

Community & Professional

International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), 2014-present

Mortgage Fraud Coordinator, Eastern District of New York, 2013-2016

Cyber Crime Working Group, Eastern District of New York, 2014-2018

Education

J.D., Emory University School of Law (with honors; Emory scholar)

B.A., Anthropology and Biochemistry, Dartmouth College

Languages

  • Catalan
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • California
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