Photograph of John E. Davis

John E. Davis

Senior Counsel

John Davis has extensive experience representing companies in complex investigations and litigations and advising clients on information law issues—including discovery, data privacy, cross-border transfers, analytics, cybersecurity, information governance, and emergent technology. He leads responses to U.S. and foreign governmental inquiries; conducts international investigations of fraud and abuse, trade secrets theft, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, and security incidents; and counsels companies on compliant practices in a broad range of disciplines. John is an award-winning author and frequent lecturer on investigations, privacy, and information law.

John is co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s E-Discovery and Information Management Practice and a member of the Litigation, Privacy and Cybersecurity and Investigations practice groups. Before joining Crowell, he was Executive Director at UBS in the Legal and Investigations groups, where he headed up the Americas region and its Global Complex Cases – eDiscovery.


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Senior Articles Editor, American Criminal Law Review
  • University of Illinois, B.A., with distinction


Professional Activities and Memberships

  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 1 on Electronic Document Retention and Production
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 6 on International Electronic Information Management, Discovery, and Disclosure
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 11 on Data Security and Privacy Liability (Dialogue Leader)
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 12 on Trade Secrets
  • The International Association of Privacy Professionals (Member)

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E-Discovery and Information Management

Commercial Litigation

Litigation & Trial

Privacy and Cybersecurity Investigations

Show more practices…

Regulatory Response, Discovery, and Privacy

  • Represented pools of executives from multiple financial institutions in responding to SEC subpoenas regarding personal device messaging retention practices, including responsibility for data strategy, productions, and data oversight.
  • Steered a global internet and communications company through responses to expansive investigative demands by the FTC and state consumer protection agencies regarding alleged consumer misrepresentations and data security incidents, resulting in no regulatory action.
  • Managed discovery and compliance with data privacy and protection requirements on behalf of a global financial institution in responding to:
-U.S. and multiple foreign government criminal and regulatory investigations and related litigations concerning cartel activity and rate manipulation in the foreign exchange and precious metals markets, including directing technology usage, cross-border transfers, and data security.

-A DOJ and SEC Sons and Daughters” investigation of potential FCPA anti-bribery violations relating to hiring practices in Asia, including coordinating China Law review.

-DOJ, SEC, and FINRA investigations, thousands of customer arbitrations, and noteholder litigations relating to sales and investment practices for distressed Puerto Rican closed-end bonds.
  • Managed discovery in a broad portfolio of matters for a health care services company, including multiple products liability multidistrict litigations involving extensive HIPAA and other privacy issues.

Data Breach and Governance

  • Managed the cross-border investigation and remediation of a global financial institution’s improperly managed client information and created, implemented, and provided global training on processes for the defensible management of such information.
  • Investigated and advised the board of a global financial institution regarding a massive leak of its customer and proprietary data.
  • Obtained for a global pharma company a TRO against its vendor holding hostage billions of pages of company and client data.
  • Assessed and oversaw the remediation of corrupted and overwritten information on thousands of backup tapes and other repositories, and defended a global pharma company against related claims of spoliation asserted in a complex antitrust action.
  • Designed the information governance processes of a global manufacturing group across regions and lines of business.
  • Designed the information governance processes of an international technology and defense systems manufacturer.

Complex Litigation

  • Served as trial counsel for a corporate trustee in connection with its multibillion-dollar portfolios of complex structured financial products, including litigating in multiple forums claims relating to distressed collateralized debt obligations/collateralized mortgage obligations and regarding the validity of swap agreements; relatedly managed the valuation and liquidation of an array of defaulted synthetic CDOs during the height of the financial crisis.
  • Represented a sovereign oil company in a $2 billion dispute in U.S. federal court proceedings and before International Centre for Dispute Resolution arbitrators over the formation of an alleged long-term fuel supply agreement.
  • Represented the leading Japanese web advertising company in New York Supreme Court and international arbitral proceedings against a global internet advertising and search company arising from a breach of regional exclusivity.
  • Served as trial counsel for an information services company in a protracted contract and employment dispute culminating in three months of arbitral hearings.
  • Served as trial counsel for a global manufacturing corporation in its litigation against a former employee for his theft of confidential and proprietary information, involving extensive international discovery, forensic investigation, and evidentiary hearings.

Pro Bono

  • Represented an inmate on Alabama’s death row in his Rule 32 petition for a new trial, from initial investigation through the weeklong evidentiary hearing, appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, and federal habeas corpus proceedings.
  • Served as trial counsel for an inmate in his successful Section 1983 claim against Westchester County, New York,  resulting in a federal court jury trial finding the county liable and awarding significant damages with resulting attorney fees.

Legal Tech's Predictions for E-Discovery In 2023 Legaltech News (January 9, 2023)
Press Coverage
Legal Tech's Milestones For E-Discovery in 2022 Legaltech News (December 27, 2022)
Press Coverage
SEC And CFTC Wall Street Resolutions Highlight Need For Communication And Records Compliance Anti-Corruption Report (October 26, 2022)
Press Coverage
"Regulators' Focus On Messaging Apps & The Impact on Civil Investigations & Litigation" EDI Leadership Summit, Miami Beach, FL. (October 13, 2022). Speaker: John E. Davis.
"DOJ Guidance on Disclosure of Employee Personal Device Messaging Has Significant Implications for Corporate Retention and Compliance Practices," Crowell & Moring’s Data Law Insights (October 11, 2022). Author: John E. Davis.
“You’ve got to move it: Data protection and privacy with cross-border transfers.” The Masters Conference NYC (September 21, 2022). Speaker John E. Davis.
"International Principles for Addressing Data Risks Associated with Dawn Raids in Cross-Border Investigations: Principles, Commentary & Best Practices,” The13th Annual Sedona Conference International Programme on Cross-Border Data Transfers and Data Protection Laws, Webinar, 2022. (June 27, 2022). Speakers: John E. Davis.
No Win Too Small: Crowell's John Davis on Leveraging AI Across Legal Relativity Blog (June 24, 2022)
Press Coverage
"Best Practices for Responding to Subpoenas," Responding to Government Investigations: The Latest Developments and Strategies for Government Contractors, Washington, D.C. (May 17, 2022). Speaker: Stephen M. Byers, John E. Davis, Agustin D. Orozco, Lisa Umans.
Relativity Names Crowell & Moring’s John Davis and Jeane Thomas 2022 AI Visionaries (February 24, 2022)
Firm News / Announcement

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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