James Smith is a corporate associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the Privacy & Cyber Practice.

Mr. Smith provides legal advice to multinational corporations and advises clients across multiple industries on compliance with current federal, state, and international privacy and cybersecurity laws and regulations, including those under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Federal Trade Commission Act, CAN-SPAM, and telemarketing laws, as well as self-regulatory and online behavioral advertising guidelines. In addition, Mr. Smith has particular insight into the privacy, security, and exchange of health information, with a focus on compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the enforcement provisions added to HIPAA by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009.

Leveraging his background in corporate law, Mr. Smith has extensive experience practicing at the intersection of data privacy, cybersecurity, and complex corporate transactions, and frequently creates risk profiles for clients to assess whether companies targeted for acquisition have the necessary safeguards to ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the information they handle. 

Mr. Smith is qualified as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and as a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the largest and most comprehensive global information privacy community.

Mr. Smith is committed to Latham’s pro bono initiatives and is a member of Legal Counsel for the Elderly’s Young Lawyers Alliance. He is also an active leader of the LGBT Bar Association of the District of Columbia, currently serving as its vice president. He is a member of the Business Law Section and the Health Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Mr. Smith’s clients include:

  • Evelo Biosciences
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR & Co.)
  • Lonestar Resources America, Inc.
  • Organica Water Limited
  • Ortho Clinical Diagnostics
  • Platinum Equity, LLC
  • QEP Resources, Inc.
  • Spok Holdings, Inc.
  • The Carlyle Group
  • Wesco Aircraft Holdings, Inc.

Mr. Smith’s experience includes advising:

  • SK Capital Partners in its acquisition of SI Group, a developer and manufacturer of chemical intermediates
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch as underwriter in Livent Corporation’s US$391 million initial public offering listed on the NYSE
  • KKR & Co. in its acquisition of Hyperion, a manufacturer of tool components and the follow-up antitrust work
  • Platinum Equity, LLC in connection with numerous acquisition financings, including for WS Packaging and the Hunterstown Power Plant
  • Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. In its approximately US$153 million initial public offering listed on NASDAQ
  • Orion Energy Partners in a US$100 million financing in connection with the acquisition of coal mining assets in Virginia and West Virginia
  • Evelo Biosciences, Inc. in its US$85 million initial public offering listed on NASDAQ
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch as underwriter in Homology Medicines, Inc.’s US$165.6 million initial public offering listed on NASDAQ
  • Bain Capital in its acquisition of a majority stake in Fedrigoni, an Italy-based manufacturer of paper, film, self-adhesive, and related products
  • ArcLight Capital Partners and its affiliates in the sale of Leeward Renewable Energy and in numerous acquisition financings and refinancings, including with Energy Corporation of America, First ECA Holdings, the New England hydroelectric power portfolio of TransCanada, Great River Hydro, LLC, and Hovensa

Bar Qualification

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland


  • LL.M. in Taxation, Georgetown University Law Center, 2020
  • Juris Doctor, Georgetown University Law Center, 2014
  • Master of Arts in World History, New York University, 2010
    Albert Gallatin Scholar
  • Bachelor of Arts in History & English & American Literature, New York University, 2007
    Dean's Scholar