Danielle Vanderzanden

Shareholder || Boston, Portland (ME)

Ms. Vanderzanden is a shareholder in the Boston and Portland (ME) offices.  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.


Admittance to Practice

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


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