Clayton Utz adds cyber-incident response capability

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The Clayton Utz Forensic and Technology Services (FTS) practice has been boosted by two senior hires from PwC, who launch a dedicated cyber-incident response team.

Lex Burke and Chris Courtis have joined the practice, which provides clients dedicated in-house cyber protection, detection, and response services. The practice was launched in 2017 with the hire of Paul Fontanot, who was a partner at EY.

Burke has been named senior manager, bringing to Clayton Utz extensive experience in end-to-end digital forensic and incident-response services. Throughout a 20-year career, he has led numerous response and fraud investigations in a wide range of sectors.

Courtis has been appointed as a manager. He adds to the practice years of experience in running data-breach and forensic-IT investigations for both public and private companies. His background is in computer science, cyber forensics, information security and management, and security and counterterrorism.

“Cyber crime and cybersecurity is a major concern for organisations worldwide. It's a serious issue both from a legal/regulatory and reputational perspective,” Fontanot said. “We’re now able to provide our clients with a comprehensive service where they can access both front-end strategic advice on how to protect against cyber breaches as well as helping them to detect and respond to an incident if it occurs.”

Fontanot said that the cyber-incident response service nicely complements the firm’s existing offering to clients in forensic investigation, accounting, and technology services.

“There's enormous benefit to clients in being able to access these services within a law firm. FTS is not an adjunct to, but is embedded in, our legal teams on client matters. This is extremely valuable in terms of both matter and cost management, as well as helping the client to be proactive in identifying and managing issues,” he said.