Avi Gesser is Co-Chair of Debevoise & Plimpton’s Data Strategy & Security Group. His practice focuses on advising major companies on a wide range of cybersecurity, privacy and artificial intelligence matters. He has represented global financial services firms, private equity firms, insurance companies, hedge funds and media organizations in large-scale ransomware attacks, cyber breaches by nation-states, and regulatory investigations relating to the use of artificial intelligence. Mr. Gesser regularly advises boards and senior executives on governance, risk, and liability issues relating to cybersecurity and AI. Mr. Gesser is also a primary author of the firm’s Data Blog and the architect of the Firm’s Data Portal, an online tool that helps clients quickly assess and comply with their cyber breach notification obligations and tracks AI regulatory developments.
Mr. Gesser has been recognized for his outstanding work throughout his career by legal directories and trade publications. He is recommended by Chambers USA (2023) as a leading lawyer for privacy and data security, with clients noting that he provides “truly sophisticated legal guidance” and that he is “incredibly commercial and thoughtful.” He is also recognized in The Legal 500 US (2023), where sources have described him as “an amazing counselor who is able to apply his expertise to provide practical advice.” In 2022, he was named an “AI Visionary” by Relativity, a leading software developer, in its first annual list featuring leaders in AI. In 2013, he was the recipient of both the Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award and the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence – Outstanding Criminal Investigation. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Gesser served as Counsel to the Chief of the Fraud Section, Criminal Division at the Department of Justice.
He received his B.S. from the University of Manitoba in 1991, his LL.B. from the University of Manitoba in 1994, his LL.M. from the University of Cambridge in 1995 and his LL.M. from New York University in 1998.