Ms Brenda Sharton > Dechert LLP > Boston, United States > Lawyer Profile

Dechert LLP
BOSTON, MA 02110-2605
United States

Work Department

Privacy & Cybersecurity




Brenda Sharton, partner and co-chair of Dechert’s global privacy & cybersecurity practice, is a top privacy and cybersecurity litigator and one of only 20 lawyers in the country ranked as a “Leading Lawyer” by The Legal 500 for Cyber Law and Data Protection/Breach Response. A first chair trial lawyer, Ms. Sharton counsels and represents public and private corporations and their boards in complex commercial litigation, arbitrations and civil government/regulatory and enforcement matters.

Ms. Sharton is a nationally recognized expert, pioneer and thought leader in the area of privacy and cybersecurity law. She has handled over 500 data breach investigations and cyber-attacks of every type and size for companies in every industry ranging from start-ups to global multi-billion dollar public companies. Ms. Sharton has handled some of the highest-profile data breaches brought by nation states, organized crime and other threat actors, including the negotiation of ransom/ransomware, business email interruption/Office 365 attacks, corporate and nation state espionage, DDoS, insider threats and theft of computer/electronic data of all types. She has defended companies in over 100 privacy-related government investigations and enforcement actions brought by global and U.S. regulators, including state attorneys’ general, the FTC, HHS/OCR for HIPAA breaches, the SEC Cybersecurity Division, among others, as well as defended public and private companies in class action litigation arising from those data breaches.

Ms. Sharton’s experience is second-to-none in handling cyber attacks, including those brought by nation states, organized crime, and threat actors of all types. She has handled hundreds of data breaches, including numerous high profile, front page news breaches. Since COVID-19 has forced a remote work environment, Ms. Sharton has counseled numerous companies on enhanced cyber and physical security related to the exponential increase in cyber attacks related thereto, including companies engaged in COVID-19 research. She counsels companies pre-breach as well as handles all aspects of data breach investigations (crisis management, working with law enforcement and third party forensic firms, crisis and PR firms, as well as board, auditor and investor communications, advice on global notification obligations, and analysis of cyber insurance). She has litigated some of the landmark cases in this space, including one of the first bank online hacking cases to have been litigated to an appeals court. She provides counseling on cyber and physical security programs, in particular for high target companies.


  • Boston College, B.S., 1987, magna cum laude
  • Boston College Law School, J.D., 1990, summa cum laude, valedictorian, Order of the Coif

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Media, technology and telecoms > Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)

(Leading lawyers)

Brenda ShartonDechert LLP

Dechert LLP is able to attract high-profile clients dealing with significant data breaches and cyber-attacks as well as those seeking strategic advice especially in connection to M&A, financings and commercial transactions due diligence. Brenda Sharton and Karen Neuman head up the practice from Boston and Washington DC; respectively. Sharton is praised as ‘a fantastic partner to any business’ and an expert litigator, arbitrator and often acts on civil government, regulatory and enforcement matters. Neuman specializes, among other matters, in the collection, use, processing and protection of consumer and employee data. Associate Hilary Bonaccorsi in Boston is highlighted for her knowledge of global privacy and cybersecurity laws and frameworks.

United States > Industry focus > Healthcare: life sciences

With experience advising life sciences clients of all sizes, Dechert LLP acts on a mix of transactions, litigation and corporate financings. Its corporate arm has acted on numerous IPOs for clinical-stage biopharma teams, as well as follow on and early funding rounds. Other corporate work includes M&A, monetization agreements, and business immigration. Disputes are a key part of the team’s workload, advising on product liability cases, antitrust disputes, and IP litigation, with an emphasis on small molecules cases. The team is co-led by Boston-based IP advisor Andrea Reid and New York-based David S Rosenthal, who advises on financings. New York-based Katherine Helm is a key name for patent litigation. Boston-based Brenda Sharton is also noteworthy for her advice to Moderna on EU data privacy breaches.

United States > Media, technology and telecoms > Fintech

Dechert LLP has a wide-ranging workload in the fintech space that includes cutting-edge cryptocurrency transactions, as well as more traditional transactional, cybersecurity and regulatory matters. Silicon Valley-based partner Timothy Spangler has experience of fund management, fintech and cryptocurrency issues, all of which intersected on his lead role assisting Franklin Templeton on the launch of its groundbreaking blockchain-based mutual fund. Philadelphia-based Ralph Mazzeo is also experienced in related securitizations and digital assets. The regulatory and compliance aspects are typically handled by Susan Grafton in Washington DC and San Francisco practice head Mark D Perlow, a former senior counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. Karen Neuman (Washington DC) and Boston’s Brenda Sharton are respectively on hand for non-contentious and contentious privacy and cybersecurity issues.

United States > Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

The globally integrated trial, investigations and securities team at Dechert LLP has considerable experience in cross-border investigations and often leans on support from its international network when assisting multinational clients. Its deep bench includes former regulators and prosecutors, and the team is led by New York’s David N Kelley and Chicago’s David Kistenbroker. Kelly is recommended for white-collar crime, commercial litigation and federal securities matters, while Andrew Levander, who is also based in New York, is recommended for securities enforcement and regulation, specializing in the asset management industry. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival of Hartley West and Richard Horvath in San Francisco, who joined from Kobre & Kim and Paul Hastings LLP, respectively. Brenda Sharton and Karen Neuman both joined from Goodwin in Boston and Washington DC, respectively. Other team changes include the arrival of Steven Engel in Washington DC from the DOJ and Michael Gilbert‘s departure from the firm in June 2021.