Cyber Policy and Law Pro and Former FCC Official David Turetsky Joins Akin Gump

(Washington, D.C.) – David S. Turetsky, a former senior official at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has joined Akin Gump as a partner in its public law and policy practice. Mr. Turetsky has handled complex U.S. and international matters throughout his more-than 30-year career in business, government and the legal industry and has been at the forefront of U.S. government initiatives surrounding cyber law and policy, privacy, data breach and competition law and policy concerns. He will reside in Akin Gump’s Washington office.

While at the FCC, Mr. Turetsky led the agency’s cybersecurity policy efforts and its activities in connection with President Obama’s cybersecurity executive order. He served as chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, directing a staff of 115 to promote accessible, resilient, reliable and secure state-of-the-art emergency and public safety communications. In this position, he led the Commission’s efforts to improve the nation’s cybersecurity, helped advance Next Generation 911 networks, oversaw continuity of operations plans and managed its emergency response to commercial communications network problems during and after Hurricane Sandy and other disasters.

Most recently, Mr. Turetsky served as deputy chief of the FCC’s International Bureau, where he addressed matters related to the executive branch’s input to the Commission on national security, law enforcement, foreign policy and trade concerns, including cybersecurity.

At Akin Gump, Mr. Turetsky will augment and enhance the firm’s existing cybersecurity strengths on behalf of a broad spectrum of clients, including those in the telecom, media and technology (TMT) field as well as those in the energy, financial services, insurance, retail, transportation, health and public safety industries. His work will encompass assisting clients with a potentially broad range of issues concerning cybersecurity, privacy, telecommunications and Internet reforms. In addition to providing policy and regulatory counsel, Mr. Turetsky will leverage his deep experience to assist with cyber law-related compliance, risk assessment and litigation matters.

“With cybersecurity being such a clear focus of both the legislative and executive branches—and, as such, potentially impacting our clients’ businesses substantially —adding someone with the track record and high-level government experience that David possesses has been a priority of ours,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “David’s stature in the industry will be a great asset to our clients, and we are delighted to have him with us.”

“Congress and regulatory agencies such as the FCC are expected to be very active on a number of fronts related to cybersecurity in the coming years, and David will play an important role in helping clients navigate the myriad initiatives that are sure to arise,” said Donald R. Pongrace, head of Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice. “In the areas of privacy and data security, in particular, David will be a valuable resource to our already-strong team, offering the perspective of someone who has spent years in public service focusing on these very areas.”

Among other initiatives, Mr. Turetsky will work closely with Akin Gump’s Small UAV Coalition team, which is pushing to secure government approval to test and operate small unmanned aerial vehicles in order to expand their use in commercial fields. Additionally, his experience in the area of first responder policy will be a natural complement to the firm’s work in this growing area of U.S. investment.

Competition law and policy, particularly as it relates to organizations in the TMT space, has also been an area of concentration for Mr. Turetsky in both private practice and public service; he will continue to focus on this topic at Akin Gump. During the Clinton administration, he served as deputy assistant attorney general for civil and regulatory within the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, and his antitrust work on behalf of clients has garnered industry recognition.

“Rapid changes in technology are reshaping business competition, creating new and disruptive opportunities and threats and giving rise to complex policy and regulatory issues,” said Mr. Turetsky. “I’m excited by the opportunity to help steer clients through these critical issues, and Akin Gump’s preeminent public law and policy practice is the perfect platform from which to do it.”

About David S. Turetsky

While serving at the FCC, Mr. Turetsky served as the FCC’s representative in interagency policymaking to implement the president’s Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity and the Presidential Policy Directive on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience. He also served as the FCC’s member of the Executive Committee created by the president’s Executive Order on National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications.

Prior to the FCC, Mr. Turetsky was a partner at a large international law firm, where he was co-chair of the antitrust practice for six years. While there, he appeared before antitrust and sectoral regulatory agencies and worked with Congress on competition-related matters. In addition, he counseled clients on a range of U.S., state and global conduct, transactional, regulatory, policy and compliance matters and litigated individual and class action cases. In all, Mr. Turetsky has nearly two decades of experience practicing law with large law firms.

As a condition of government merger approvals, while in private practice, Mr. Turetsky was twice appointed by federal courts and the FCC to serve as management trustee for rural cellular businesses and spectrum in a combined total of 20 markets. He was also an outside advisor on antitrust to the DOJ agency review team for the Obama-Biden Transition and, from 1999-2012, served as a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Turetsky was part of the senior management team of a telecommunications services and broadband start-up that provided nationwide voice and broadband services over fixed wireless and fiber local networks. He helped bring the company public, enter U.S. and international markets and build and manage an effective and responsive legal, regulatory, policy and compliance organization. He also managed the company’s interactions with the government and handled myriad legal and management issues.

In his role as deputy assistant attorney general for civil and regulatory within the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, Mr. Turetsky oversaw and advised on complex antitrust investigations and litigations involving high-stakes legal and economic issues of significant public interest. He participated in high-profile policymaking on an interagency basis, especially with the White House in connection with the Telecommunications Act of 1996; he led a legislative effort with bipartisan support to pass the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994; and he helped advance DOJ and administration positions before Congress, international organizations and governments, state governments and the public.

Mr. Turetsky received his J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Amherst College. He has also studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

About Akin Gump’s Public Law and Policy Practice

Akin Gump’s public law and policy practice has long understood that solutions to many issues facing clients involve the very processes by which legislation and policy are conceived, developed and implemented by governments in the United States and around the world. For this reason, Akin Gump has built and maintained one of the largest and most diverse government relations practices of any major law firm worldwide. Our practice stresses careful evaluation of client issues and detailed design of strategies and tactics to achieve objectives and provide advocacy that is executed in an effective, timely and coordinated manner.

About Akin Gump’s Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Practice

Akin Gump offers a full array of services in the privacy, data protection and cybersecurity space, including developing compliance programs, providing day-to-day compliance counseling, providing legislative and regulatory advocacy services, assisting with data breach investigations and responses, handling regulatory investigations and litigating privacy and data protection matters in federal and state courts at both the trial and appellate levels. We also furnish strategic advice on structuring business relationships in a manner that is sensitive to data privacy and security concerns. Our clients include organizations across a broad range of jurisdictions and industries, including health care, retail, insurance, telecommunications, professional sports, media and entertainment, e-commerce and data aggregation.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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