Cynthia J. Cole

Deputy Department Chair - Corporate (Palo Alto & San Francisco) Partner

[email protected]

Palo Alto

P: +1.650.739.7575
F: +1.650.739.7635
Cynthia Cole Photo

Cynthia Cole is the Deputy Department Chair of the Corporate Section in the Palo Alto and San Francisco offices, as well as a former CEO and General Counsel. Her practice focuses on corporate, strategic and technology transactions and data privacy. She advises clients across a wide variety of industries including technology, retail, telecommunications, social media and life sciences. She acts as outside general counsel to a number of executive teams and boards of directors as well as advising on mergers, acquisitions, asset purchases and joint development agreements.

She is sought after for her depth of experience in complex cross border transactions, IP and data-driven transactions often creating bespoke agreements in novel technology fields. She advises clients on implementation and compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). She is certified as an Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

A recognized thought leader, Cynthia is a frequent author and speaker and is often quoted by leading print and broadcast media on data privacy and leadership. In 2019, she was recognized as a California Trailblazer in data privacy by The Recorder for her foundational work in data privacy.

An adjunct Professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Cynthia teaches a course on information and data privacy.

She has been recognized, as well, for her community involvement and influence, most recently by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a 2020 Women of Influence.

Related Experience

Immediately prior to joining Baker Botts, Ms. Cole was VP, General Counsel, Corporate Development, Corporate Secretary and Interim CEO of Spectra 7 Microsystems (TSE: SEV), an industry leader in VR/AR and data center applications. In that role, Cynthia oversaw all commercial, supplier, licensing, partner, and product development agreements, as well as all public filings, disclosures, and financings.

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Representation of clients in Technology, Telecom, Media, Energy, Manufacturing, and Life Sciences sectors in M&A transactions with a focus on both buy and sell-side disclosure, including the representation and mitigation of data privacy and information security.
  • Representation of AT&T advising on data privacy and information security in connection with the sale of data center colocation operations to Brookfield Infrastructure for $1.1 billion.
  • Representation of Zix Corporation in the integration of acquired assets, advising on data privacy and information security, in connection with the $275 million acquisition of AppRiver LLC.
  • Representation of NASCAR Holdings, Inc. advising on data privacy and information security in connection with the Agreement and Plan of Merger to acquire International Speedway Corporation for $2 billion.
  • Representation of NRG Energy Inc. advising on data privacy and information security in connection with the acquisition of a retail electricity and natural gas business of Stream Energy for $300 million working capital.
  • Representation of Liberty Media Corporation and Liberty Latin America advising on data privacy and information security in connection with various transactions.

Technology, Data Privacy & Security

  • Ongoing representation of clients in Technology, Telecom, Media, Energy, Manufacturing, and Life Sciences sectors in the implementation of data privacy and protection compliance as directed, especially under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), for the collection, processing, and transfer of personal information, including creation of GDPR and CCPA compliant internal policies and procedures; creation of external-facing privacy notices, terms of use and disclosures; website mapping and internal data collection and location exercises; multi-disciplinary analysis across business units of data privacy risk and mitigation; contractual risk mitigation of data privacy in collection, processing, storage, and transfer; review and creation of information and cybersecurity, data protection, and retention policies; and Privacy Shield certification and compliance.
  • Ongoing representation of clients in Technology, Telecom, Media, Energy, Manufacturing, and Life Sciences sectors in establishing and maintaining internal response programs in the event of a data breach/loss, including advising and coordinating international breach response and disclosure (both first- and third-party responsibility).
  • Technology, IP licensing, and commercial transactions for clients in the Technology, Telecom, Media, Energy, Manufacturing, and Life Sciences sectors, including creation and negotiation of data sharing and licensing agreements with a focus on data privacy, protection, storage, and transfer; negotiation and implementation of cloud computing models and agreements; and clinical trial agreements.
  • Lead deal lawyer, representing MONI Smart Security (Nasdaq: ASCMA), a leading provider of in-home security alarm monitoring, in its agreement to provide professional monitoring service for Nest Secure (a subsidiary of Google).

Awards & Community

Recognized as one of the "Women of Influence" by The Silicon Valley Business Journal, 2020

Named a "California Trailblazer" by The Recorder, 2019

Named a "National Women in Law Honoree for Thought Leadership" by Corporate Counsel, 2018

Recognized as one of the "Women Leaders in Tech Law" by The Recorder, 2017


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On The Move

Daily Journal

Daily Journal

Thought Leadership

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CCPA Compliance and Enforcement

Speeches & Presentations

Moderators, TechGC, Privacy Virtual Forum: The GC's Role in Operationalizing Privacy At Home and Abroad



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Austin Chamber of Commerce - Remote to Reopening

On Tuesday, May 18 Baker Botts Partner, Cynthia J. Cole and Special Counsel, Christina Andersen will lead a discussion on Remote to Reopening - Returning to operations in the COVID-19 era hosted by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

TechGCx Private Lunch and CLE

On July 25th, Baker Botts sponsored the TechGCx Private Lunch + CLE and presented an interactive discussion on “Maximizing Impact In-house.”

Marketplace Risk Management Conference

Join Amy Conway-Hatcher and Cynthia Cole on May 22 at the Marketplace Risk Management Conference to discuss topics most relevant for web and mobile marketplace technology companies in the sharing, on-demand, gig, peer-to-peer and collaborative economy.

Fearless Entrepreneurs: Unstoppable & Extraordinary

The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern Alumni Association will host “Fearless Entrepreneurs: Unstoppable & Extraordinary,” at Northwestern University’s San Francisco Office on March 8, at 6pm PT.