Photo, Cynthia J. Cole

Cynthia J. Cole

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Cynthia Cole is an Intellectual Property Partner in Baker McKenzie's Palo Alto office, as well as a member of the IP Tech Global Steering Committee.  A former CEO and General Counsel, just before joining the Firm, Cynthia was Deputy Department Chair of the Corporate Section in the California offices of Baker Botts where she built the technology transactions and data privacy practice. An intellectual property transactions attorney, Cynthia also has expertise in AI, digital transformation, data privacy, and cybersecurity strategy.

She advises clients across a wide range of industries including Technology, Media & Telecoms, Energy, Mining & Infrastructure, Healthcare & Life Sciences, and Industrials, Manufacturing & Transportation. Cynthia has deep experience in complex cross-border, IP, data-driven and digital transactions, creating bespoke agreements in novel technology fields. She acts as outside general counsel to a number of executive teams and boards of directors.

Practice Focus

Cynthia has extensive experience in a wide variety of complex technology and intellectual property alliances and transactions. Cynthia’s practice also includes providing intellectual property and data privacy and security assistance in connection with M&A, private equity and other corporate transactions. She advises clients on cybersecurity and incident response and compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). She is certified as an Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

A recognized thought leader, Cynthia is a frequent author and speaker and is often quoted by leading print and broadcast media on tech transactions, data privacy, cybersecurity and leadership. In 2022, she was recognized as a "Top Cyber Lawyer in California" by The Daily Journal. In 2019, she was recognized as a "California Trailblazer in Data Privacy" by The Recorder for her foundational work in data privacy.

An adjunct Professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Cynthia teaches a course on information and data privacy.

She has been recognized, as well, for her leadership in diversity, pro bono and community involvement and influence, most recently by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a "2020 Women of Influence."

Representative Legal Matters

Cynthia was previously CEO and General Counsel of Spectra 7 Microsystems (TSE: SEV), an industry leader in VR/AR and data center applications. In that role, she oversaw all strategic relationships including commercial, supplier, licensing, partner, and product development agreements, as well as all public filings, disclosures, and financings.

Technology, Data Privacy and Security

  • Tech transactions and data-driven initiatives including digitalization and data sharing with strategic third parties.
  • Technology, IP licensing, and commercial transactions, including creation and negotiation of data sharing and licensing agreements with a focus on data privacy, protection, storage, and transfer; negotiation and implementation of cloud computing models and agreements; and clinical trial agreements
  • Product counseling and creation of fundamental commercial agreements including Cloud, Software, SaaS and Data as a Service
  • Data privacy compliance especially under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), including creation of GDPR and CCPA compliant internal policies and procedures; creation of external-facing privacy notices, terms of use and disclosures; website mapping and internal data collection and location exercises; multi-disciplinary analysis across business units of data privacy risk and mitigation; contractual risk mitigation of data privacy in collection, processing, storage, and transfer; review and creation of information and cybersecurity, data protection, and retention policies.
  • Data, AI and IP internal and cross-functional frameworks
  • Breach and security incident response (including ransomware), including managing outside security experts and advising and coordinating international breach response and disclosure (both first- and third-party responsibility).
  • Internal incident response programs and table top exercises as part of data protection and network infrastructure security

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Advised Cadence Design Systems, Inc. in its acquisition of Intrinsix Corp
  • Advised Amara NZero in its acquisition of Sunrgy Solar Distribution
  • Advised Haier Smart Home in the acquisition of the commercial refrigeration business of Carrier for USD 640 million
  • Advising ServiceNow in its acquisition of G2K
  • Advising Digital Media Solutions in its acquisition of the Home Services Marketplace From Customer Direct Group Along With Their Brand Direct International Ad Network
  • Advising Mozilla in its acquisition of Fake Spot
  • Advising Thomson Reuters as to the global divestiture of majority interest in its Elite software business to TPG to create a new legal tech company with a value of USD 500 million
  • Advised Snowflake in its acquisition of Mobilize.Net's SnowConvert
  • Advised Snowflake in its acquisition of Applica
  • Advised Mysten Labs, Inc. in its acquisition of certain assets from SuiNS Technologies Inc.
  • Advised DataDog in its acquisition of Cloudcraft

Prior to Joining the Firm, Cynthia handled the following matters:

  • Advised AT&T in connection with the sale of data center colocation operations to Brookfield Infrastructure for USD 1.1 billion
  • Advised Zix Corporation in its USD 275 million acquisition of AppRiver LLC
  • Advised NASCAR Holdings, Inc. in its acquisition of International Speedway Corporation for USD 2 billion
  • Advised NRG Energy Inc. in its acquisition of a retail electricity and natural gas business of Stream Energy for USD 300 million working capital
  • Advised Liberty Media Corporation and Liberty Latin America in connection with various transactions

Professional Honors

  • Recognized as one of the "Top Cyber Lawyers in California" by The Daily Journal, 2022
  • Recognized as one of the "Women of Influence" by The Silicon Valley Business Journal, 2020
  • Named a "California Trailblazer" by The Recorder, 2019
  • Named a "National Women in Law Honoree for Thought Leadership" by Corporate Counsel, 2018
  • Recognized as one of the "Women Leaders in Tech Law" by The Recorder, 2017

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, Board of Directors
  • LeaderXXchange, Advisory Board Member
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP); Certified Information Privacy Professional, CIPP/E


  • California~United States


  • Northwestern University School of Law (J.D.) (2000)
  • University of Utah (B.A.) (1994)


  • English
  • French