Emily Westridge Black


Education and Clerkships

J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 2007, cum laude, Phi Delta Phi

B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

Texas, 2007

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas


Emily Westridge Black takes a common-sense, business-oriented approach to counseling clients on complex litigation and investigation matters.  Emily has successfully represented prominent businesses and individuals on a range of issues, including data breach and cybersecurity, anti-corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities regulation, antitrust, and class actions.

In recent data breach matters, Emily counseled a large specialty retailer and a prominent international hotel chain through the investigation, remediation, and disclosure of significant breaches of personally identifiable information (“PII”) and payment card information (“PCI”) and represented them in related disputes.  She also investigated a series of spear-phishing attacks at a publicly traded oilfield services company and led the investigation of a data security breach at an IT services company.  

Emily counsels clients on regulatory issues, including compliance with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act.  Clients benefit from Emily’s experience working in-house at an international pharmaceutical company developing and implementing organization-wide anti-corruption initiatives that balanced legal requirements with business objectives. She has designed practical and effective anti-corruption compliance programs for numerous public and private companies in diverse sectors, including clients in the oil and gas, energy, pharmaceutical, freight forwarding, and hospitality industries.  Emily has also investigated suspected violations of anti-corruption laws and liaised with regulators on behalf of her clients.

An accomplished litigator, Emily realizes that the best result – an early victory – is often obtained through motion practice.  For example, she recently helped a hedge fund client and its principals defeat class certification and obtain a voluntary dismissal of all claims, including breach of fiduciary duty.  Emily also represented the former CEO of Microtune, Inc. in a stock option backdating case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and, with a team of Haynes and Boone lawyers, won summary judgment and a complete dismissal.

Emily is also committed to serving the community.  After a two and half year fight, she recently won asylum for a Cameroonian native.  She also proudly serves on the Steering Committee of the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project.

Data Breach

Data Security Law: Predictions for 2015

It seemed that new data breaches and privacy and data security lawsuits were announced on a near-weekly basis in 2014, and the pace will likely only increase in 2015. In particular, we expect to see a continuation of the following important trends...

Selected Client Representations

  • Lead counsel for defendants in a putative class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, and vicarious liability in connection with the failure of a hedge fund. Defeated class certification and obtained voluntary dismissal of remaining claims.
  • Internal investigation and remediation of a data security breach of an information technology solutions company; counsel client on the company’s remediation efforts, disclosure obligations, and recourse against the former employee.
  • Internal investigation of data security breach at high profile specialty retailer that implicated payment card information and personal identifying information; counsel client on numerous post-breach issues including disclosure obligations, public disclosure, negotiation of fraud recovery and operational reimbursement fines and penalties with card brands, and related counseling regarding collateral litigation; counsel client on insurance coverage for breach-related expenses.
  • Internal investigation and remediation of a data security breach at a Fortune 200 transportation company; civil prosecution of entity responsible for the security breach.
  • Investigation of criminal spear-phishing attack used to steal funds from public oilfield services technology company; direct forensic investigation of attack; counsel client on disclosure obligations and remediation efforts.
  • Internal investigation of alleged FCPA violations made against a Fortune 200 company in connection with the construction of cross-border facilities.
  • Defense of the former CEO of an international technology company in an SEC enforcement action for options backdating.
  • Internal investigation on behalf of the audit committee of a national construction and restoration company regarding securities issues and fraud allegations.
  • Defense of an international freight forwarder under federal investigation for antitrust compliance issues.
  • Defense of a national multi-industry company in breach of warranty litigation.

Emily Westridge Black in Law360

Law 360

Target’s $10M Breach Settlement Sets Affordable Standard

Despite its relatively cheap price tag, Target Corp.'s proposed $10 million settlement of a class action over its massive 2013 data breach isn’t likely to be surpassed in the near future, given how difficult it has been for plaintiffs to show harm for which companies need to compensate consumers…

Selected Presentations

  • "Practical Tips on Preventing, Managing, and Insuring for Data Breaches,” Houston Cybersecurity panel, February 18, 2015.
  • "Despite Bipartisan Support, Data Breach Law Faces Obstacles," Law360, February 02, 2015.
  • "Data Security Law: Predictions for 2015," The Privacy Advisor, January 27, 2015.
  • "Obama Cybersecurity Blitz May Lessen Liability For Breaches," Law360, January 14, 2015.
  • "2014 Year in Review: Antitrust and Business Litigation," Texas Bar Journal, January 2015. 
  • "A Focus on Cybersecurity Litigation Risks and Liabilities," presented to the General Counsel Forum, November 6, 2014. 
  • "Critical Organizational Threats Facing General Counsel," presented to the Texas Lawyer In-House Counsel Summit, November 6, 2014. 
  • "A Compliance Officer’s Guide to Cyberliability and Cyber Insurance," Houston Compliance Roundtable, October 15, 2014. 
  • "What You Need to Know About Cybersecurity," presented to the Better Business Bureau of Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin, September 16, 2014. 
  • "A Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response—Part 2," Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal Vol. 26, No. 8, August 2014. 
  • "A Guide to Data Protection and Breach Response—Part 1," Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal Vol. 7, No. 3, July 2014. 
  • "What You Need to Know About Data Security and Cyber Insurance: Practical tips on preparing for and responding to a cyber security breach," presented to public and private company clients in the Dallas area, June 26, 2014. 
  • "Understanding Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Cyber Insurance," Austin Compliance Roundtable, May 28, 2014. 
  • "What Registered Entities Need to Know about Cybersecurity and Cyber Insurance," San Antonio Compliance Roundtable, May 14, 2014. 
  • "Cyber Liability and Loss Seminar," presented to public and private company clients in the Austin area, April 22, 2014. 
  • "2013 Year in Review: Antitrust and Business Litigation," Texas Bar Journal, January 2014. 
  • "2012 Year in Review: Antitrust and Business Litigation," Texas Bar Journal, January 2013. 
  • "2011 Year in Review: Antitrust and Business Litigation," Texas Bar Journal, January 2012. 
  • "2010 Year in Review: Antitrust and Business Litigation," co-author with David McAtee, Texas Bar Journal, January 2011. 
  • "Managing Risk: A Guide for Investment Advisers," co-author with Katherine Addleman, National Society of Compliance Professionals Southern Regional Meeting, February 2010.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Steering Committee of the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project
  • Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Mayor's Committee
  • Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court, Associate (2009)
  • American Bar Association 
  • ABA Young Lawyers Division 
  • State Bar of Texas 
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association 
  • Dallas Association of Young Lawyers

News and Publications

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