Melissa Maalouf
United States of America
  • PositionShareholder
  • FirmZwillGen
  • Age36
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Melissa Maalouf

Melissa Maalouf

United States of America
  • Position: Shareholder
  • Firm: ZwillGen
  • Age: 36

Professional history

I started my legal career at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in DC in 2007. In 2012, I joined ZwillGen, when the firm only had seven lawyers. In March 2018, I became a shareholder of the firm.

What do you do?

I counsel clients on US and international data privacy and security issues. In particular, my practice focuses on advising providers of wearables, internet-connected devices, and mobile applications on integrating privacy by design into their products in a way that balances innovation with consumer privacy in an increasingly data-driven world. I have defended major media, social networking and gaming companies in US Federal Trade Commission and state attorney general investigations.

What drew you to your area of practice?

Technology has always fascinated me. In third grade, I was an assistant in my school’s first computer lab that housed brand new Macintosh Classics and Laserdisc players, and my interest continued to grow from there. When I went to law school in 2004, there weren’t many classes outside of the IP space involving technology, although I did take one computer crime class. Luckily, at the time that I was a summer associate at Willkie in 2006, the DC office was building up a privacy practice to service some of the firm’s largest multinational clients that were finding privacy and security to be areas of increased regulatory scrutiny. I quickly raised my hand and took on as many projects in privacy and security as I could, and I haven’t looked back since!

Influences and mentors?

My greatest mentors have been my truly amazing colleagues. ZwillGen was built on an experienced attorney model, and through the years we’ve focused on hiring accomplished practitioners in all areas of internet and technology law.

What’s everyone talking about?

The many applications of blockchain technology, and whether the blockchain is a fad or here to stay.

Most significant current trend in your jurisdiction?

Competing on privacy. As consumers become savvier about privacy, and as the number of high-profile privacy and security incidents continue to increase, US companies are putting more resources into privacy and security compliance.

What do you do to relax?

Go for a walk, enjoy a hot cup of matcha or plan my next trip!