Amid growing scrutiny of how companies use and protect consumer information, Pillsbury has recruited highly regarded data privacy and technology partners Jeewon Serrato and Shruti Bhutani Arora to the firm’s San Francisco office. Both join Pillsbury from Baker Hostetler.

Serrato and Bhutani Arora are well-known in technology and privacy circles, particularly given their landmark representation of Sephora in the first-ever California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) settlement with the California Department of Justice. At Pillsbury, Serrato—who served as her prior firm’s co-lead of U.S. Consumer Privacy, co-lead of the Digital Transformation and Data Economy team and San Francisco Leader of the Digital Assets and Data Management group—will head the firm’s Global Consumer Protection team, co-lead the Retail Industry team, and join the firm’s Global AI Task Force leadership group.

“Regulators, politicians and the general public are taking an increasingly close look at how businesses are treating personal data, and the large companies we represent are laser-focused on making sure they’re taking all necessary steps to safeguard their systems and protect customer information,” said Pillsbury’s Global Head of Regulatory Nancy Fischer. “Jeewon and Shruti have earned reputations as true leaders in this high-demand area of the law, actively representing some of the Technology and Retail sectors’ biggest names on consumer protection compliance and risk mitigation efforts as well as advising on their digital marketing, e-commerce and AI strategies. Their arrival further enhances our global regulatory capabilities and our highly regarded Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection offering, while also adding new capabilities and experience the firm can bring to bear for clients.”

Serrato focuses on guiding organizations through periods of intense transformation and change, whether driven by innovation or crisis. Equipped with a comprehensive understanding of digital strategy, data assets and the vital role both play in a business’s corporate roadmap, she counsels clients in the areas of consumer privacy, cybersecurity, data optimization and data science, advising on high-stakes regulatory defense matters, complex security incident investigations, new and emerging data monetization strategies and tech transactions. Equipped with a thorough understanding of U.S. and global privacy regulations—including the CCPA and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—Serrato regularly designs and executes compliance programs for international corporations, negotiates complex cross-border M&A deals, and advises on high-stakes investigation and dispute matters. She has overseen hundreds of data breach incidents and internal investigations, working with companies to prepare crisis management policies and data breach response plans, and to resolve related disputes.

Prior to entering private practice, Serrato worked on Capitol Hill and served as the head privacy executive for a global data broker and as Chief Privacy Officer for a publicly traded Fortune 100 financial services company. She is a former member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee; helped found the California Lawyers Association’s Privacy Law Section and served as Inaugural Chair of the Executive Committee; and is also a lecturer at the Netherland’s Maastricht University European Centre on Privacy & Cybersecurity.

“Throughout its long history, Pillsbury has always been at the forefront of emerging issues, and the cybersecurity and data privacy space is a prime example of that,” noted Serrato. “The firm is an absolute powerhouse in this area, with recognized experts advising clients on all manner of related policy, compliance, risk mitigation and disputes issues. I am thrilled to join a firm with such extensive capabilities and deep international expertise in this area and am excited to play a part in the firm’s ongoing Northern California growth as well.”

Bhutani Arora focuses principally on privacy matters, including critical issues involving data optimization and transformation, high-stakes investigations and drafting and negotiation of related complex technology contracts. She has collaborated with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies in markets around the world, providing advice in connection with CCPA, GDPR and other privacy compliance regulations. She also advises on AI strategies and works with international clients on trademark and copyright matters.

Pillsbury has made a number of notable partner hires of late, with particular growth in Northern California. Recent arrivals in the Bay Area include high-stakes employment litigator JoAnna Brooks and veteran startup lawyer Matt Kirmayer in San Francisco and former National Coordinator of the DOJ’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Program Mark Krotoski as well as seasoned trial lawyer Patrick Hammon in Silicon Valley, with more anticipated in the near future. The firm also elevated eight Bay Area lawyers to its partnership in 2023 and 2024.