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Gus P. Coldebella, a member of the National Law Journal’s inaugural class of “Cybersecurity Trailblazers” in 2015, is a principal in the Commercial Litigation Group in Fish’s Boston and Washington, D.C. offices. His practice involves helping companies deal with all aspects of cybersecurity incident response and planning, government and internal investigations, complex civil litigation, and management of crises of all types.

Mr. Coldebella was the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s acting General Counsel from February 2007 to January 2009, and its Deputy General Counsel from October 2005 to February 2007, focusing on all major homeland security issues confronting the Department and the nation. He is a recognized authority on the legal and policy aspects of homeland and cybersecurity. At DHS, he helped lead the implementation of President Bush’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, designed to shore up the government’s civilian networks from attack and to promote cooperation between the public and private sectors. In private practice, he helps clients investigate and manage all aspects of cyber security incidents. He advises companies and their boards of directors on steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk of attack, as well as post-event regulatory enforcement and litigation. His experience as a securities litigator perfectly positions him to advise public companies on SEC and other regulatory requirements regarding cyber security disclosures and board of directors’ fiduciary duties regarding the same. Mr. Coldebella also advises on other security-related issues, including privacy, infrastructure protection, liability protection, and export control.

Mr. Coldebella’s litigation practice also includes securities and M&A litigation, partnership and post-closing disputes, breach of fiduciary duty cases, class actions, and other complex litigation. He has defended corporations and financial institutions against Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims. He conducts internal investigations, including those arising out of whistleblower complaints or shareholder derivative demands, involving fiduciary duties, corporate governance, insider trading, compensation, export control, government contracting, anti-corruption, U.S. GAAP compliance, public disclosure, and the like. He represents clients in all manner of governmental investigations and agency enforcement actions by federal and state agencies including SEC, FBI/DOJ, DHS, FTC, OFAC/BIS, agency inspectors general and others, and manages congressional investigations and testimony.


J.D., Cornell Law School 1994
magna cum laude, Order of the Coif

B.A., Colgate University 1991


  • Massachusetts 1994
  • District of Columbia 2011
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Memberships & Affiliations

​Mr. Coldebella is on the advisory board of the NYU Law School's Center on Law and Security, he is a senior fellow at George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, and he speaks and writes frequently on security law and policy. Mr. Coldebella is a member of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), the Federalist Society, and the American Bar Association.

Mr. Coldebella is a member of Colgate's Board of Trustees and serves as the chair of its audit committee and the vice-chair of its legal affairs and insurance committee. He formerly served as president of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation, the organization that represents Colgate's 32,000 alumni.

Other Distinctions


Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazer, The National Law Journal (2016)

Washington D.C. Super Lawyer (2013)

Department of Homeland Security Secretary’s Outstanding Service Medal (2008)

United States Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award (2008)

Massachusetts Rising Star Super Lawyer (2005)

Thought Leadership

CSO Online, “Two years after the OPM data breach: What government agencies must do now,” (June 20, 2017)

Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, “Why Cybersecurity Is Your Board’s Business,” (April 19, 2017)

The Federalist Society, “Cybersecurity and Corporate Boards,” (April 18, 2017)

Fish Litigation Blog: “Tough New Cybersecurity Regulations from the New York Department of Financial Services Go Live,” co-author (March 2, 2017).

USA Today, “It’s ‘Code Red’ as cyber-security pros gather,” quoted (February 13, 2017).

Fish Litigation Blog: “What Will Happen to the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement?,” co-author (February 3, 2017).

NYU School of Law’s Center on Law and Security & the Center for a New American Security, “Legal and Policy Authorities to Combat New Forms of Terrorist Financing,” panelist (June 6, 2016).

Palo Alto Networks Ignite, “A C-Level View of the Latest Attack Vectors,” panelist (April 21, 2016)

Security Roundtable, “Cybersecurity: No Longer Just a Boardroom or Service Room Issue,” (January 6, 2016)

Fish Litigation Blog: “Yet Another Revision of the Justice Department’s Requirements for Corporations to Obtain Cooperation Credit in Criminal Investigations,” co-author (November 20, 2015)

NYSE Governance Services Webinar, Best Practices for Cyber Risk Management in the Digital Age,” presentation entitled “In Case Of Emergency…: A Full-Spectrum View of Cyber Response” (November 19, 2015)

INSIGHTS Webinar, “Cyberattack: Quarterbacking the Company’s Response to the Most Sophisticated Threats” (November 18, 2015)

AIPLA 2015 Trade Secret Law Summit, Boston, MA: “Cybersecurity: Protecting Trade Secrets and Reducing Liability” (November 12, 2015)

Advanced Cyber Security Center Annual Meeting, Boston, MA: “What is Reasonable in Cybersecurity: Responsibility and Accountability for Cybersecurity Practices” (November 4, 2015)

27th Annual All-Hands Meeting, Santa Clara, CA: “Country vs. Company: How In-House Counsel Can Prepare For and Respond to the Most Sophisticated Cyberattacks” (October 29, 2015)

Cybersecurity Is a Boardroom Issue,” The Recorder (October 16, 2015)

New York Stock Exchange 12th Annual Boardroom Summit and Peer Exchange, New York, NY: Book launch of “Navigating the Digital Age: The Definitive Guide for Directors and Officers” (October 12, 2015)

Fish Litigation Blog: “High Court Declines Certiorari Petition in U.S. v. Newman,” co-author (October 6, 2015)

Fish Litigation Blog: “Using Smart Internal Controls to Prevent Wire Transfer Cyber Fraud” (September 30, 2015)

Fish Litigation Blog: “Three Cybersecurity Lessons from The Newswires Hacking Scam” (August 12, 2015)

New York University: Speech at “Cyber Insurance and Corporate Governance: Facing New Threats” (April 2, 2015)

ABA Homeland Security Law Institute: “Cybersecurity Challenges” (C-SPAN) (August 22, 2014)

Maryland Bankers Association: “Welcome to the Information Age: Social Media, Cybersecurity and Bank Regulatory Issues” (August 7, 2014)

Fox News: “More than one billion passwords stolen” (August 6, 2014)

Christian Science Monitor: “When is a fish like an incriminating document? Supreme Court will decide” (April 28, 2014)

Law360: “3 Things to Know About CFIUS’ Recent Activism” (September 3, 2013)

Goodwin Procter Client Alert: “CFIUS Invokes National Security In Ordering Indian Company to Divest Equity in U.S. Company” (September 27, 2013)

New York Times: “How to Improve Oversight of Homeland Security” (September 13, 2013)

Fordham-FBI International Conference on Cybersecurity (ICCS): “Federal Cybersecurity Standards” (August 2013)

ABA Homeland Security Law Institute: “Cybersecurity for the Private Sector: What Companies and Their Lawyers Need to Know” (June 2013)

Federalist Society: “Cybersecurity—Information Sharing, Privacy, Regulation, and Reason” (May 2013)

The Hill: “Cyber Security Act of 2012 requires a liability protection bug fix” (February 22, 2012)

What's trending with Gus

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December 5th, 2017 | 12:30 pm EST
Xconomy’s What's Hot in Cybersecurity
Xconomy’s What's Hot in Cybersecurity
Speaking Engagement
November 15th, 2017 | 8:00 am CST
MAPI Cybersecurity Forum
MAPI Cybersecurity Forum
Speaking Engagement
April 20, 2017
Fish's Gus Coldebella and Donna Balaguer Interviewed in Metropolitan Corporate Counsel Article, "Why Cybersecurity Is Your Board’s Business"
November 12th, 2015
AIPLA 2015 Trade Secret Law Summit
Three Cybersecurity Lessons from The Newswires Hacking Scam
Speaking Engagement
April 25th, 2018 | 11:30 am EDT
HB Litigation Conferences Cyber Sector Risk: Critical Infrastructure
HB Litigation Conferences Cyber Sector Risk: Critical Infrastructure
Speaking Engagement
August 17th, 2017 | 11:15 am CDT
TexasBar CLE 16th Annual Course: Advanced In-House Counsel
TexasBar CLE 16th Annual Course: Advanced In-House Counsel
Speaking Engagement
June 13th, 2017 | 1:00 pm EDT
New York’s Cybersecurity Regulations for the Financial Services Sector - What Do They Mean, and What Is Their Impact?
May 9th, 2017 | 12:30 pm EDT
Gus Coldebella to Discuss "Managing Trade Secrets" | AIPLA Webinar
Gus Coldebella to Discuss
Speaking Engagement
April 26th, 2017
Gus Coldebella Moderates a Panel at "The Exchange" Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Forum
Gus Coldebella Moderates a Panel at
Speaking Engagement
April 19, 2017
Q&A with Gus Coldebella & Donna Balaguer: Why Cybersecurity Is Your Board’s Business
Q&A with Gus Coldebella & Donna Balaguer: Why Cybersecurity Is Your Board’s Business
Authors: Gus P. Coldebella, Donna A. Balaguer, CIPP/US
Commercial Litigation
February 9th, 2017 | 1:30 pm EST
TAG FinTech GA 2017 - Stealing Your Identity: Risk, Security & Fraud in Financial Services
TAG FinTech GA 2017 - Stealing Your Identity: Risk, Security & Fraud in Financial Services
Speaking Engagement
October 28th, 2015 | 8:00 am PDT
27th Annual All Hands Meeting
27th Annual All Hands Meeting
Speaking Engagement
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