• Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Senior Articles Editor, American Criminal Law Review
  • University of Illinois, B.A., with distinction


  • New York
  • California (Inactive)
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

John E. Davis

Senior Counsel

John Davis has extensive experience representing companies in complex investigations and litigations and advising clients on information law issues—including discovery, data privacy, cross-border transfers, analytics, cybersecurity, information governance, and emergent technology. He leads responses to U.S. and foreign governmental inquiries; conducts international investigations of fraud and abuse, trade secrets theft, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, and security incidents; and counsels companies on compliant practices in a broad range of disciplines. John is an award-winning author and frequent lecturer on investigations, privacy, and information law.

John is co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s E-Discovery and Information Management Practice and a member of the Litigation, Privacy and Cybersecurity and Investigations practice groups. Before joining Crowell, he was Executive Director at UBS in the Legal and Investigations groups, where he headed up the Americas region and its Global Complex Cases – eDiscovery.


  • Law360: Burton Award, Distinguished Legal Writing, 2009
  • Relativity: AI Visionary, 2022


Professional Activities and Memberships

  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 1 on Electronic Document Retention and Production
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 6 on International Electronic Information Management, Discovery, and Disclosure
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 11 on Data Security and Privacy Liability (Dialogue Leader)
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 12 on Trade Secrets
  • The International Association of Privacy Professionals (Member)

Representative Matters

Regulatory Response, Discovery, and Privacy

  • Represented pools of executives from multiple financial institutions in responding to SEC subpoenas regarding personal device messaging retention practices, including responsibility for data strategy, productions, and data oversight.
  • Steered a global internet and communications company through responses to expansive investigative demands by the FTC and state consumer protection agencies regarding alleged consumer misrepresentations and data security incidents, resulting in no regulatory action.
  • Managed discovery and compliance with data privacy and protection requirements on behalf of a global financial institution in responding to:
-U.S. and multiple foreign government criminal and regulatory investigations and related litigations concerning cartel activity and rate manipulation in the foreign exchange and precious metals markets, including directing technology usage, cross-border transfers, and data security.

-A DOJ and SEC Sons and Daughters” investigation of potential FCPA anti-bribery violations relating to hiring practices in Asia, including coordinating China Law review.

-DOJ, SEC, and FINRA investigations, thousands of customer arbitrations, and noteholder litigations relating to sales and investment practices for distressed Puerto Rican closed-end bonds.
  • Managed discovery in a broad portfolio of matters for a health care services company, including multiple products liability multidistrict litigations involving extensive HIPAA and other privacy issues.

Data Breach and Governance

  • Managed the cross-border investigation and remediation of a global financial institution’s improperly managed client information and created, implemented, and provided global training on processes for the defensible management of such information.
  • Investigated and advised the board of a global financial institution regarding a massive leak of its customer and proprietary data.
  • Obtained for a global pharma company a TRO against its vendor holding hostage billions of pages of company and client data.
  • Assessed and oversaw the remediation of corrupted and overwritten information on thousands of backup tapes and other repositories, and defended a global pharma company against related claims of spoliation asserted in a complex antitrust action.
  • Designed the information governance processes of a global manufacturing group across regions and lines of business.
  • Designed the information governance processes of an international technology and defense systems manufacturer.

Complex Litigation

  • Served as trial counsel for a corporate trustee in connection with its multibillion-dollar portfolios of complex structured financial products, including litigating in multiple forums claims relating to distressed collateralized debt obligations/collateralized mortgage obligations and regarding the validity of swap agreements; relatedly managed the valuation and liquidation of an array of defaulted synthetic CDOs during the height of the financial crisis.
  • Represented a sovereign oil company in a $2 billion dispute in U.S. federal court proceedings and before International Centre for Dispute Resolution arbitrators over the formation of an alleged long-term fuel supply agreement.
  • Represented the leading Japanese web advertising company in New York Supreme Court and international arbitral proceedings against a global internet advertising and search company arising from a breach of regional exclusivity.
  • Served as trial counsel for an information services company in a protracted contract and employment dispute culminating in three months of arbitral hearings.
  • Served as trial counsel for a global manufacturing corporation in its litigation against a former employee for his theft of confidential and proprietary information, involving extensive international discovery, forensic investigation, and evidentiary hearings.

Pro Bono

  • Represented an inmate on Alabama’s death row in his Rule 32 petition for a new trial, from initial investigation through the weeklong evidentiary hearing, appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, and federal habeas corpus proceedings.
  • Served as trial counsel for an inmate in his successful Section 1983 claim against Westchester County, New York,  resulting in a federal court jury trial finding the county liable and awarding significant damages with resulting attorney fees.

Speeches & Presentations

  • "Regulators' Focus On Messaging Apps & The Impact on Civil Investigations & Litigation" EDI Leadership Summit, Miami Beach, FL. (October 13, 2022). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • “You’ve got to move it: Data protection and privacy with cross-border transfers.” The Masters Conference NYC (September 21, 2022). Speaker John E. Davis.
  • "International Principles for Addressing Data Risks Associated with Dawn Raids in Cross-Border Investigations: Principles, Commentary & Best Practices,” The13th Annual Sedona Conference International Programme on Cross-Border Data Transfers and Data Protection Laws, Webinar, 2022. (June 27, 2022). Speakers: John E. Davis.
  • "Best Practices for Responding to Subpoenas," Responding to Government Investigations: The Latest Developments and Strategies for Government Contractors, Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2022). Speaker: Stephen M. Byers, John E. Davis, Agustin D. Orozco, Lisa Umans.
  • "E-Discovery in a Hybrid Work Environment: Managing ESI Here, There, and Everywhere," ALI CLE (October 6, 2021). Speakers: John Davis and Rochelle Rosenberg.
  • "Getting Centered on New Data Privacy Laws," 2021 Illumination Summit - Lighthouse Global (May 13, 2021). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "E-Discovery in the Era of COVID-19: Remote Document Review Security and Quality Challenges," American Law Institute CLE (October 20, 2020). Speakers: John E. Davis, Rochelle-Leigh Rosenberg, and Amy Sellars of Cardinal.
  • "International Webinar Series: Compliance Conversations With John Davis on Cybersecurity in the US," LexisNexis Webinar (August 28, 2020). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Health Care Fraud and Abuse Laws: What In-house Counsel Need to Know and How to Respond to an Investigation," ACC and Crowell & Moring Seminar, New York, NY (June 27, 2019). Speakers: Brian McGovern, Troy A. Barsky, Rebecca Monck Ricigliano, and John E. Davis.
  • "From ESI to Evidence: Document Preservation, Collection and Analysis," Crowell & Moring's Investigations Workshop 2019, Washington, DC (May 8, 2019). Moderator: Stephen M. Byers; Speakers: John E. Davis, Tiffany Wynn, and Nimrod Haim Aviad.
  • "Data Security and Privacy Challenges in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Systems," The Sedona Conference Working Group 11, Houston, TX (March 1, 2019). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "GDPR + NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulations: Keeping up with Compliance on a Local and Global Scale," General Counsel Conference, New York (September 2018). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Hurricane Schrems: GDPR Risks that U.S. Companies Can’t Ignore,” Electronic Discovery Institute (EDI) Summer Meeting, New York (June 2018). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Deconstructing eDiscovery Spend: If You Can’t Measure & Manage It, You Can’t Improve It," EDI Leadership Summit, Arizona (October 2017). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "The Changing Face of Global Compliance," OpenText Enterprise World 2017 Conference, Toronto, Canada (July 2017). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Regulators Always Ring Twice: Using Technology in Response to Government Investigations," Legaltech, New York (February 2017). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "TAI: Technology Assisted Investigations for the Enterprise," Legaltech, New York (February 2017). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "The Data Privacy Landscape: Emerging Laws Affecting Cross-Border Discovery," Legaltech, New York (February 2017). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Regulators Always Ring Twice: Using Technology in Response to Government Investigations," EDI Leadership Summit, Florida (October 2016). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Ethical Obligations in Complex Litigation," In-House Innovates East Conference, New York (October 2016). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Data Security: The Role of the Corporate Legal Department," Legaltech, New York (February 2016). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Global Enterprise Discovery Management," The EDI Annual Leadership Conference (October 2015). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "We’re Here: Cybersecurity Requirements for Regulated Entities," The Government Investigations & Civil Litigation Institute Annual Leadership Conference (October 2015). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Beyond the Corporate Walls: Managing Data Security and Privacy in Discovery," Legaltech West 2015 (July 2015). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Managing Expectations: The SEC & FTC Target InfoSEC Compliance," RSA Conference (April 2015). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "The Data Syndrome: Collecting & Extracting Data from Challenging Jurisdictions," EDI Leadership Summit (November 2014). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "eDiscovery for Government Investigations," Legal Tech West Coast (June 2014). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Transforming Electronic Data Discovery: Integrating New Technologies to Optimize Quality and Reduce Expenses," Virtual Legal Tech Webinar (May 2014). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "TAR for the Real World: Practical Problems, Pragmatic Solutions," Catalyst/Hughes Hubbard Seminar (May 2014). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Audio Discovery: Hear What You’ve Been Missing," Legaltech Conference (February 2014). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "The Cross-Border Quandary: Facilitating eDiscovery While Protecting Data Privacy," Cybit/The Computer Forensics Show (May 2013). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Effective eDiscovery Management Strategies in Large Scale Litigation and Class Actions," NY IQPC Forum (December 2011). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "eDiscovery Implications of the Financial Crisis," Recommind Press/Regulator Roundtable (September 2010). Speaker: John E. Davis.
  • "Cross-Border Implications of the Zubulake Decision," IQPC eDiscovery Summit, Canada (June 2010). Speaker: John E. Davis.


Client Alerts & Newsletters

Press Coverage

Firm News & Announcements

February 24, 2022 Relativity Names Crowell & Moring’s John Davis and Jeane Thomas 2022 AI Visionaries
March 24, 2021 Crowell & Moring Launches CMD: Integrated E-Discovery Solution
October 24, 2018 Experienced E-Discovery Lawyer John Davis Joins Crowell & Moring in New York