Meet the U.S. Data Privacy Team

Ted Claypoole

Ted co-chairs the Womble Bond Dickinson Privacy and Cybersecurity Team, and he was the most recent past chair of the Cyberspace Law Committee in the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. A regular presenter at the RSA data security conference, Ted is a co-author with Theresa Payton of two books from Rowman & Littlefield Publishers titled Privacy in the Age of Big Data and Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online?

Nadia practices in the area of data privacy. She has watched California shape privacy law for many years and is very interested in the impact of CCPA on the landscape of American privacy law.

Artin Betpera

Artin adeptly manages significant volumes of litigation for some of the country’s largest banks and financial institutions, never losing sight of providing an exceptional level of service to his clients.  He has been a dedicated financial services litigator since starting the practice of law at ground-zero of the financial crisis, affording him with an unparalleled depth of experience, versatility, and strategic vision.  With honed skills and clarity of thought, Artin is able to efficiently develop and execute bespoke defense strategies to ensure consistently favorable litigation outcomes for his clients.

Artin’s innovative approaches are particularly well-suited to Telephone Consumer Protection Act litigation.  He stands with his team at the leading edge of every development in the law and collaboratively draws upon the strengths of his colleagues to provide sound guidance to his clients around every twist and turn of the constant changes in the TCPA landscape at the district court, appellate, and regulatory levels.

Taylor Ey

Taylor is an associate at Womble Bond Dickinson who focuses her practice advising companies in the technology sector.  She specializes in intellectual property, technology, and commercial transactions–including matters involving licensing, e-commerce, commercial contracts, data protection, and advertising and promotions.

Taylor also advises organizations on risks related to international data transfers and compliance issues in data protection law, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.  She provides guidance on breach notification response procedures governed by U.S. federal and state law.

Rebecca Jacobs Goldman

Rebecca has a diverse communications law practice, guiding clients in media law, Internet, telecom, cable, broadcast and privacy/data protection matters. She works with the Privacy and Data Protection Team to help clients protect confidential information, including trade secrets, customer data and company records. She counsels communications industry clients in negotiating contracts and complex business transactions, as well as helping them resolve disputes and regulatory challenges.

Her clients include cable operators, broadband service providers, video programmers, network operators, spectrum owners, radio broadcasters and telecommunications companies. Rebecca has extensive experience in E-Rate (Universal Service Administration Company Schools and Libraries Program) and Cable Compulsory License matters. She also guides businesses in Telephone Consumer Protection Act issues, as well as pole attachments, and program carriage issues and the negotiation of fiber leases and indefeasible rights of use (“IRU”).

Phil Gura

Phil has more than 30 years of experience helping companies manage privacy, data security, governance, and regulatory compliance challenges. Phil most recently served as Chief Legal Officer of Sionic Mobile Corporation, a cloud-based connected commerce company. In this role, Phil led partnership negotiations with major financial institutions, acquirers, automobile manufacturers, technology platform providers, and merchants. Previously, he led the in-house legal team at Merchant Customer Exchange LLC, (MCX), where he built legal and compliance functions from the ground up for the company’s mobile payments platform. He also provided a wide range of other legal and business guidance to the company’s CEO and Board of Managers, working closely with the nation’s top retailers. Phil led the company’s efforts to acquire and sell major FinTech services and other technology assets. He also served as Head of Government Relations, leading MCX’s legislative education efforts.

Beth Jones

Beth is a leader of the firm’s Education and School Law Team, head of its Employment and Pensions Service Team and Managing Partner of the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh, NC offices. She builds upon her experience as an HR professional, in-house employment lawyer and a college faculty member to defend employers and serve as a trusted adviser to educational institutions. Beth advises clients on how best to handle difficult employment matters from terminations, RIFS, restructurings, FLSA compliance, return to work FMLA and ADA issues, and I-9 compliance. She knows upfront planning and advice permits the execution of a well-planned strategy that accomplishes the client’s goals with minimized risk. To that end, she has assisted employers in addressing difficult employee matters without resorting to litigation, trained managers on all aspects of employment law compliance and prepared policies. When needed, Beth defends employers before state and federal agencies and in litigation.

Tom Kierner

Tom is a transactional attorney who advises clients on the dynamic regulatory and legal landscape for FinTech and payments companies. He also assists clients in negotiating and drafting agreements with banks, processors, and other service providers. Tom has experience handling data privacy matters, including managing data breach responses. He also responds to inquiries and enforcement actions brought by state and federal agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), various state attorneys general, and state banking divisions. As former in-house counsel at two financial services companies, Tom provided regulatory guidance to his clients to maintain compliance with state and federal requirements, including advising on planned advertising and promotional activities to ensure compliance with consumer and privacy laws. Tom is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).

Peter McLaughlin

Peter is a Privacy & Data Security attorney who advises clients with respect to a broad range of technology transactions, privacy and security issues. While maintaining a broad privacy practice, Peter focuses on innovative uses of data, especially with the life sciences and digital health sectors. He also guides clients in their domestic and international handling of personal information; new product development; and the assessment of legally defensible cybersecurity programs.

Steve Middlebrook

A former General Counsel at two FinTech companies and with a decade’s service at the US Department of the Treasury, Steve has more than 20 years of experience helping clients navigate complex regulatory and compliance matters. He advises clients on a wide array of legal and business issues at the intersection of technological innovation and financial services, including licensing, consumer protection, anti-money laundering, and data privacy/security. He helps clients interact with regulators and respond to inquiries at the state and federal level. He also negotiates agreements for processing services, hardware and software, network access, and customer service. Steve has an extensive background in emerging payment technologies, prepaid and stored value products, mobile payments, web-based financial services, virtual currency, and distributed ledger technology. Steve serves as an advisor to the Uniform Law Commission’s drafting committee for the Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act.

Dominic Panakal

Dominic advises clients on international and domestic data privacy laws.  He also assists in drafting Software as a Service agreements, privacy policies, terms of use, and licensing contracts.

Liz Riley

Liz Riley is a connector, problem solver and relationship builder. She has decades of experience addressing the diverse and changing legal needs of clients in school administration and higher education. With a foundation in business litigation, Liz has evolved as a practical business adviser and risk manager, counseling her clients on issues ranging from data privacy and cybersecurity to school policy and regulatory compliance. Liz helps clients navigate the changing legal landscape of collecting, managing, sharing and analyzing data.

Kurt Stakeman

Kurt Stakeman offers experience in matters related to law enforcement and prosecution. Kurt is a former police legal advisor and was a state prosecutor before joining Womble Bond Dickinson in 1985. He is the go-to lawyer for matters related to the criminal courts whether traffic tickets, internal investigations or cases where business clients are victims of internal or external crime, including embezzlement and data theft. Kurt advises his clients on ways to protect their valuables and techniques to recover any stolen valuables.  Kurt is also active with the Red Dart consortium with the FBI to protect trade secret data of US companies.

Nicole Su

Nicole focuses her business litigation practice on commercial and financial services matters in state and federal courts and in arbitration. She represents financial institutions in TCPA claims, as well as FDCPA, FCRA and related state consumer protection claims. Nicole is dedicated to achieving cutting-edge results for her clients. Nicole uses her in-depth knowledge of the consumer protection statutes to come up with creative solutions for difficult problems. Nicole also has written a number of articles on the TCPA and consumer financial services litigation. Her prior experience includes representing major financial institutions in federal and state mortgage banking litigation.

Kristin Walker-Probst

Kristin Walker-Probst is an experienced trial lawyer and civil litigator, having tried well over 100 cases in both State and Federal Court. With a deep knowledge of evidence and juries, Kristin is adept at case workup, settlement, and trials for a wide variety of cases.  After an initial career as a prosecutor with both the Riverside and Los Angeles County District Attorneys’ Offices, she has focused the last 15 years of her practice handling civil trials, including case workup, settlement, and trial.

Tara Cho


Tara focuses her practice on privacy and data security issues across multiple industries such as technology, retail, e-commerce, and life sciences, with an emphasis on compliance risks and regulatory requirements affecting the healthcare sector. Tara became certified as a legal specialist in Privacy and Information Security Law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization in 2018 as part of the inaugural class of specialists in this field – one of just 10 attorneys in the state to hold this certification.