Danielle Vanderzanden

Shareholder || Boston, Portland (ME)

Ms. Vanderzanden is a Shareholder in the Boston and Portland (ME) offices, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Data Privacy Practice Group.  She specializes in the areas of privacy, restrictive covenant, wage and hour, discrimination and labor and employment litigation and counseling.  She devotes her practice to helping employers with employment-related disputes, conducting investigations and providing counsel to clients seeking to reduce their potential for liability to their employees and third parties.  She has personally conducted dozens of investigations, including investigations involving employee allegations of misconduct by company executives and systemic discrimination.

She is CIPP/US certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals and provides advice regarding cybersecurity and privacy matters, including applicable state, federal and multi-national privacy and information security requirements.  For nearly ten years, she has provided clients with advice regarding written information security policies and all aspects of data breach remediation, response and notification.  She has counseled dozens of clients through the process of complying with a myriad of data breach notification requirements among the 50 United States and in a variety of multi-national data breach scenarios.  She routinely helps clients navigate the choppy waters churned by the challenges of social networking sites, the Internet of Things and related technological developments. In 2015, the National Law Journal selected Ms. Vanderzanden for inclusion on its inaugural list of “Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazers.”

She has successfully represented clients in numerous cases involving restrictive covenants and intellectual property disputes and claims for ERISA benefits and executive compensation.  She has defended single plaintiff and class and collective action wage and hour disputes (including, but not limited to, claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Massachusetts Wage Payment Law and the Massachusetts Tip Pooling Statute); sex, race, age, religion and disability discrimination and/or harassment claims; and tort and retaliation matters.  She has many years of experience defending clients against privacy-related claims, and she regularly helps clients develop policies, practices, protocols, training programs, audits and remedial measures to diminish the risks associated with information security breaches.

Ms. Vanderzanden regularly speaks before industry groups and legal organizations and at conferences, roundtables, webinars and seminars.  She also provides internal training programs on topics such as data privacy and security compliance, conducting effective internal investigations, protecting intellectual property and human resource assets, complying with applicable wage and anti-discrimination laws.  She is an effective trial lawyer who has tried over 20 cases by herself or as first chair and has managed and resolved or taken to hearing dozens of employment arbitrations.

In addition to many years of experience litigating in the U.S. Court of Appeals, First and Second Circuits, and in the state and federal courts in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, she also has represented numerous clients in arbitrations before the AAA, NASD, and FINRA.

Comments of others, particularly clients, best describe Ms. Vanderzanden’s legal skills.   The 2014 Chambers and Partners Client Guide notes that clients say that she “hones in on the issues with a laser-like focus and is creative in how she makes her points.” The same Guide described her as “incredibly talented, very quick on her feet and very good strategically.” In its 2010 Client Guide, Chambers described Ms. Vanderzanden as providing “immediate, practical and comprehensive advice in all areas of employment law.” And, the 2009 Client Guide reported that she “is praised for her outstanding work in noncompete and wage and hour claims.”


Learn more about Danielle Vanderzanden

As an active trial lawyer, Ms. Vanderzanden has tried over twenty cases to verdict in federal and state courts, and she has handled a myriad of matters in arbitration and before administrative agencies in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.  She has represented employers in contract actions, emergency matters involving the enforcement of restrictive covenants, claims advanced under the constitution and civil rights statutes and claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”).  She has defended employers in connection with single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff and class and collective action lawsuits alleging violations of state and federal wage and discrimination laws.  She has managed hundreds of claims for change in control severance benefits.  Ms. Vanderzanden has litigated appeals in the state and federal courts.

In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Vanderzanden regularly provides counsel to employers in conducting privacy audits and assessments, revising internal policies and third-party agreements, drafting notice and consent forms, data transfer and processing agreements and security policies and practices.  She has conducted or provided advice regarding numerous internal discrimination, harassment, rape and ethics investigations.  She regularly advises clients planning and implementing large-scale voluntary and involuntary reductions in force and provides advice regarding layoff-selection methodologies, risk assessment and avoidance and release preparation.  She provides day-to-day advice to employers on a wide range of topics such as disability and leave matters, privacy issues, restrictive covenants and confidentiality policies, employee training, discipline and employment termination matters.  She provides training programs designed to minimize the risks associated with the employment relationship, and she regularly advises clients in connection with developing compliance strategies that align with the culture of their business.

Ms. Vanderzanden served as a temporary Assistant District Attorney for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and prosecuted numerous criminal cases.  She also has represented clients in connection with a myriad of white collar criminal investigations.


  • J.D., Boston College Law School, 1993
  • B.A., Columbia University, 1988

Admittance to Practice

  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maine
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire
  • U.S. District Court, District of Vermont
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Maine Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association, Board of Governors, New Hampshire Bar
  • Vermont Bar Association
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Co-Chair, AIPLA Trade Secret Law Committee, Cybersecurity Subcommittee


  • Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Securing Your Workplace in the World of Data Privacy and Cybersecurity" - La Quinta - November 9, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Navigating the Harassment Hailstorm" - Boston - January 18, 2018
  • Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Data Makes the Work Go Around: Engaging Employees to Prevent Data Loss" - Boca Raton - November 10, 2017
  • ALM Cyber Security and Data Protection Summit - "PR: Using a Crisis as an Opportunity to Protect and Enhance the Company’s Reputation" - New York City - December 15, 2015
  • AIPLA Trade Secret Law Summit - "Everything You Need to Know About the Ex Parte Seizure Order, Its Interplay with State Remedies, and Other Key Procedural Provisions" - Boston - November 12, 2015
  • 2015 East Coast eDiscovery & IG Retreat - "BYOD and MDM Solutions" - Harwich - November 9, 2015
  • Ing3nious Summit - "BYOD and MDM Solutions" - November 9 - 19, 2015
  • ING3NIOUS 2015 East Coast eDiscovery & Information Governance Retreat - "Just Patch and Pray?" - Cape Cod - November 8 - 9, 2015
  • American Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting - "Playing in the Big (Data) Leagues: Consumer Data Mining, Data Privacy and Compliance" - Boston - October 20, 2015
  • AIPLA Annual Meeting - "Everything You Need to Know About the Ex Parte Seizure Order, Its Interplay with State Remedies, and Other Key Procedural Provisions" - Washington, D.C. - October 18, 2015
  • American Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting - "Information Privacy and Data Security Concerns in the Internet of Things" - Boston - June 30, 2015
  • American Corporate Counsel Northeast iLaw Summit - "All Things Internet, Mobile and Social" - Boston - March 26, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Once More Unto the Breach: Data Privacy and Fighting the Good Fight" - 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins’ Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Breach of Data, Breach of Duty: Counsel’s Role in Data Privacy and Data Breaches" - Dana Point - 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins In-House Counsel Roundtable - "Protecting Privileged Communications While Providing Advice from Planes, Trains and Automobiles" - Woburn - May 2, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act: A New Tool To Protect Your Company’s Assets" - New Orleans - May 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act: A New Tool To Protect Your Company’s Assets" - 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Classifying Your Workforce: Is Anyone Really An Independent Contractor Anymore?" - Boston - April 28, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Cost-Effective Use Of Experts - They're Not Just For Litigation Any More" - Las Vegas - May 6, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Do Your Employees Text While Driving?" - Waltham - March 4, 2010
  • American Lawyer Media Conference - "Creating Leadership Roles for Women in the Legal Profession" - New York - April 4, 2006
  • ABA Law Practice Management Section Annual Meeting - "Women's Initiatives: A Unique Method to Retain Top Talent and Top Clients" - Chicago - August 5, 2005
  • September 3, 2015 - SHRM Online - "Title VII ‘Safe Harbor' Saves Employer from Bias Suit"
  • May 7, 2012 - SHRM.org - "Unflattering Comments and Stray Remarks Not Gender Discrimination"
  • March 2012 - American Health Lawyers Association's Labor & Employment - "HIPAA Compliance Issues Promise to Hit the Healthcare Industry Hard in 2012"
  • February 2005 - Women's Business - "Litigation Avoidance Through Performance Management"
  • June 7, 2004 - Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly - "Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Terminating Employees"
  • January/February 2004 - Boston Business Journal - "What State Farm Means For Defense Counsel"
  • May 13, 2002 - Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly - "High Court Strikes Down Employer Penalty For Violating FMLA Notice Requirement"
  • February 1996 - Vol 7, The Best of MCLE Journal No. 2 (co-author) - "The Obligation Of Reasonable Accommodation Under The Americans With Disabilities Act And The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Law"
  • 1992 - Vol. XII, MBA Sections News on Labor and Employment Law No. 1 (co-author) - "Truth Or Consequences: The Dangers Of Reference-Related Tort Liability"
  • 1992 - 1993 - MBA Best of the Sections - "Truth Or Consequences: The Dangers Of Reference-Related Tort Liability"
  • January 22, 2019 - Legaltech News - "Clock’s Still Ticking Despite Lack of Deadline in Mass. Breach Law"
  • November 20, 2018 - SHRM Online - "Create a Cross-Functional Team to Combat Data Security Issues"
  • November 20, 2018 - SHRM Online - "Employees Are Key to Curbing Data-Breach Risks"
  • November 20, 2018 - SHRM Online - "Portable Devices Create Data-Security Challenges"
  • March 14, 2018 - SHRM Online - "6 Ways HR Can Help Prevent a Data Breach"
  • December 15, 2015 - Legaltech News - "Reputation Recovery: Using a Cybersecurity Crisis as an Opportunity"
  • October 20, 2015 - Bloomberg BNA - "The Data That Isn't Used ..."
  • December 22, 2014 - InsideCounsel - "The Employees' Cyber Shield"
  • December 2, 2014 - Workforce Magazine - "Cybercrime All the Time"
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Chambers USA
  • CIPP/US certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals

Insights by Danielle Vanderzanden