Purvi G. Patel is a litigation partner in MoFo’s Los Angeles office. Her practice is a unique blend of Privacy + Data Security and Class Actions + Mass Torts. Purvi represents a wide-range of clients spanning the retail and e-commerce space, among others, in privacy, advertising, unfair competition, and consumer fraud matters. She is a recognized leader in defending lawsuits involving the collection, use, and disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII). Purvi is the firm’s expert regarding California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act and analog statutes in other states, and she is at the forefront of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.
Her experience advising household names on various privacy compliance issues and defending them in complex and class action litigation in federal and state courts across the country, has earned her a solid reputation among both her peers and clients. She is recommended as a Key Lawyer: Privacy and Data Protection by Legal 500 US and as a leading lawyer by Best Lawyers in America. Additionally, the Los Angeles Business Journal named Purvi to its list of Most Influential Minority Attorneys.
As well-known as she is for her legal capabilities, she is equally renowned for her commitment to the community and diversifying the legal profession. She has held several influential positions within the firm, contributing to the mentorship and advancement of diverse, LGBTQ+, and women attorneys. She is co-chair of MoFo’s Diversity Strategy Committee, hiring partner for the Los Angeles office, and a member of the Women’s Strategy Committee.
Purvi is also actively engaged in the community and has taken on leadership roles with a number of organizations. She is a member of the founding board of Legal Education Access Pipeline, a fellows program dedicated to increasing access to legal education for underrepresented populations. Since its launch, she has also served on the steering committee for Just the Beginning’s Los Angeles Summer Legal Institute, a one-week legal immersion program for diverse high school students. Finally, Purvi is a past co-president of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC) and, in 2019, was named SABA-SC’s Mentor of the Year.
What was it that initially drew you to Privacy + Data Security law?
While no area of the law is really stagnant—after all, that’s the beauty of our system—Privacy + Data Security law is rapidly and constantly evolving due to changes in technology and social norms, resulting in “first of their kind” legal issues. I wanted to be on the frontlines of those issues. As I had hoped, partnering with clients to navigate the gray areas, which regularly crop up, has proven to be very rewarding. It’s a dynamic practice, where past experience certainly informs our thinking, but equally or more important is the need to think practically and be nimble. Having the ability to hone these types of skills is also what drew me to this practice years ago.
Do you have any examples of interesting work you’ve performed in this space?
Too many! The most recent has been my work on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). It is the most comprehensive piece of privacy legislation in the United States, and no doubt will be the model for other laws in other states. I started working on the CCPA before it was passed into law and, as those who work in this space know, it’s been a wild ride from the beginning. As a result, I developed an early expertise in the Act’s nuances. It’s been amended several times since it was passed in 2018, and California is not yet “done” with it, so the challenges it poses for compliance will definitely continue. These challenges, however, are exactly why I love being a privacy lawyer. Every day I am fielding hard questions from clients who are trying to comply with a law that has many gray areas, and I’ve enjoyed working with these companies to come up with practical solutions to these questions. My counseling practice has and will continue to inform my litigation practice, and I’ve already seen the advantages of the deep knowledge I’ve built as I defend clients in cases asserting CCPA claims.
Can you speak to the importance of mentorship in your career, or perhaps why you are driven to mentor others?
As a South Asian woman, I am still too often the only woman or the only person of color in the room, so I feel a deep and abiding obligation to mentor diverse, LGBTQ+, and women attorneys. A large part of that is due to the fact that I’ve benefited from dedicated mentors throughout my career—attorneys who saw my potential, gave me opportunities, pushed me to stretch, and were trustworthy confidants. No one succeeds in this career alone. Having experienced firsthand the impact mentorship can have and wanting to see others like me succeed (and change the makeup of the room) motivates me to take the extra time to invest in younger lawyers.
Learn more about MoFo’s commitment to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of diverse and women attorneys here.