Elliot Katz Brings Nationally Recognized Automated Vehicles Practice to McGuireWoods


Addition of SF Partner Continues Firm’s Emerging Tech Expansion

Elliot Katz, a leading authority on legal and policy issues pertaining to connected and automated vehicles, has joined McGuireWoods as a partner in San Francisco, continuing an expansion of the firm’s market-leading capabilities for businesses in the automotive sector. 

Katz will lead the firm’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Practice, which will handle the full spectrum of legal and policy needs for clients in the mobility sector. He joins the firm from DLA Piper, where he advised automakers, global technology companies, and municipalities on emerging issues in the mobility space. He also has significant experience litigating privacy, intellectual property, and complex business matters, and counseling clients on privacy and consumer protection laws.

“Automated technologies are transforming the auto sector, and Elliot has unmatched experience and the know-how to effectively guide clients through this transformation,” said Scott Westwood, chair of the firm’s M&A, Corporate Transactions and Technology Department.  “Combining the firm’s auto sector leadership with Elliot’s connected and automated vehicle experience will be key to taking our emerging technologies capabilities to the next level.”

“Elliot is a go-to attorney for companies around the country entering the mobility space,” added David Powell, managing partner of the firm’s San Francisco office, which has grown rapidly since its launch in March 2016. “He is an important addition and we are delighted to welcome him to our office.”

Katz arrives weeks after Washington’s top technology law and lobbying team joined McGuireWoods and its public affairs arm, McGuireWoods Consulting. The group includes Michael Drobac, a nationally renowned authority on autonomous vehicle policy and leader of MWC’s Emerging Technologies Team, and Gregory Walden, who served as chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration and as associate deputy U.S. attorney general.

In addition to its Connected and Automated Vehicle Practice, McGuireWoods and McGuireWoods Consulting have built highly acclaimed teams to assist businesses facing complex matters at the intersection of law, policy, business and technology in the areas of cybersecurity and data privacy, banking and financial services, and unmanned aerial delivery systems.  Earlier this year, Law360 recognized the firm’s many successes handling high-stakes matters for automakers by naming it an “Automotive Practice Group of the Year.”

Katz will work closely with the law firm’s transportation and data privacy and security industry teams, as well as its litigation practice. He noted that the firm’s strategic commitment to the automotive space, as well as to the Bay Area, were part of the attraction.

“The Bay Area has become ground zero for connected and automated vehicles. The fact that McGuireWoods has a powerful platform in the automotive sector, with lawyers who have in-depth knowledge of the industry, really sets them apart in this market,” Katz said.  “My clients need AV-specific counsel, but they also have other legal needs where they want to work with practitioners – be they general corporate, tax, or patent attorneys – who have deep experience counseling companies in the automotive sector. McGuireWoods has the resources to provide a true one-stop shop for all of their legal needs.”