Alexander J. Urbelis

PARTNER


P: 212.779.3070 x 101

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Mr. Alexander J. Urbelis holds the BCL from New College, University of Oxford, where he was an Editor of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, a JD, magna cum laude, from Vermont Law School, where he was the Technology Editor of the Vermont Law Review, and a BA, summa cum laude, in Philosophy from Stony Brook University.

Alex is an experienced attorney who has also been part of the information security community for more than 20 years and who has truly varied experience as a C-level officer, in-house counsel, private practice litigator, and a federal attorney.

Based in both New York and London, Alex was the Chief Compliance Officer of one of the world’s largest luxury conglomerates. As such, Alex handled all aspects of worldwide legal compliance, including anti-bribery and anti-corruption efforts, whistle-blowing matters, internal and external investigations, and ensured that employees and partners understood and adhered to strict standards of business conduct and corporate social responsibility. Prior to his role as CCO, Alex was in-house information security counsel, charged with responsibility for mitigating information security risk, managing investigations, and developing policies and procedures to go beyond industry standard best practices.

At Steptoe & Johnson LLP in New York and Washington, DC, Alex’s practice centered around several issues at the intersection of law and technology. Counseling companies both domestically and abroad, Alex provided data security and privacy advice, and assisted some of the world’s largest technology companies and non-profit organizations with issues of Internet governance and the expansion of the Internet through ICANN’s new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Alex personally worked on the drafting and submission of nearly 200 gTLD applications during the first application round.

Alex has advised domainers, brand owners, and registrars, on the management of Internet domain name portfolios.  He has considerable experience with Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings, Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) proceedings, and national Dispute Resolution Proceedings (DRPs) by which country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) arbitrate domain name disputes. Drawing on his many years of information security experience, Alex has been able to successfully investigate and reclaim valuable hijacked domain names by presenting forensically sound and thoroughly collected evidence and intelligence, and using the same to negotiate with registrars.

With respect to commercial litigation and arbitration experience, Alex has been involved in complex commercial disputes, encompassing international and cross-border components. In many of these matters, Alex has provided strategic advice involving information security and technical issues, such as the spoliation of electronic evidence and international disputes involving technology­-related contracts.

As an appellate lawyer, Alex has represented US service members and civilians in claims for compensation for torture before the US Supreme Court and has successfully argued for Convention Against Torture protection for potential deportees in the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

An active member of several privacy-oriented organizations, Alex has lectured on the subject of cyber security, and has provided strategic legal and technical advice in proceedings involving technology, privacy, national security, and international disputes involving technology-related contracts.  

Alex’s federal service includes working for the US Army JAG Corps, the Office of General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency, and as a Research Associate in the Technical Analysis Group of Dartmouth College’s Institute for Security Technology Studies, a national center for information security and counterterrorism research and analysis. Alex also served as a judicial law clerk to Chief Judge Effron of the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and as a judicial extern to Justice Denise Johnson of the Vermont Supreme Court.

Alex is regularly called upon by the media to opine on matters both legal and technical, and his published writings range from scholarly works, to bar journals, to op-editorials.  Alex is also a correspondent for the Oxford Martin Cybersecurity Capacity Portal, a pioneering and interdisciplinary research center of the University of Oxford.

Public interest work is of great importance to Alex. His pro bono matters have included appellate representation in immigration and death penalty proceedings, and extensive litigation on behalf of indigent tenants in New York. 

 

Select Appearances and Publications

  • CNBC, Nightly Business Report (2 Aug. 2017) (Mr. Urbelis discussed the privacy and security concerns arising from the growing online gaming industry with a particular focus on the augmented reality app 'Snatch')
  • Pacifica Radio, Nationally Syndicated Broadcast on Pacifica Radio Stations and Affiliates (27 June 2017) (Mr. Urbelis read aloud his CNN op-ed, How '1984' Can Decode Trump's First 100 Days.)
  • Coast to Coast AM, Nationally Syndicated Radio with Mike Siegel (22 June 2017) (Mr. Urbelis discussed information security, the Russian hacking investigations, politics, and his 1984 CNN op-ed.)
  • On The Money, CBC Business News (16 May 2017) (Mr. Urbelis discussed ransomware and the role that software and operating system developers should play to mitigate this threat)
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed ISPs' ability to monetize customer data and ongoing litigation about Bitcoin licensing requirements) (30 Mar. 2017)
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed his CNN op-ed on the parallels between 1984 and the practices of the Trump Administration) (1 Feb. 2017)
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed President Obama's commutation of Chelsea Manning's sentence, UCMJ procedures, and the distinctions between Manning and Snowden) (18 Jan. 2017) 
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis discussed electoral college reform and voting security implications) (16 Nov. 2016) 
  • Hacking the Vote, BRIC TV, BK Live (Mr. Urbelis debated election information security with the Executive Director of the Board of Elections of NYC) (22 Sept. 2016) 
  • Off the Hook, WBAI, 99.5 fm (New York) (Mr. Urbelis was a guest speaker discussing sanctions litigation against Mossack Fonseca in the aftermath of the Panama Papers breach) (10 Aug. 2016)