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Alex Pearce concentrates his practice in Privacy and Data Security law. He partners with organizations to provide strategic and practical guidance on matters that implicate domestic and international privacy and data security considerations.

Alex’s broad and varied experience includes counseling clients on compliance with state and federal privacy, consumer protection and breach notification laws; designing and implementing global data protection compliance strategies; negotiating cloud computing, data license and data sharing agreements, and representing clients in disputes centering on privacy and data security issues. He frequently writes and speaks on privacy and data security and is an editor of What’s Fair?, a blog on the law of unfair trade practices.

Alex has been certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) and as a Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT).  In 2017 the IAPP recognized him as a Fellow of Information Privacy (FIP).  

Alex rejoined Ellis & Winters in 2017 after serving for six years as in-house counsel for SAS, a global provider of analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services. While practicing at SAS he served as the company’s lead Privacy Counsel. In that role he managed the company’s global privacy program and advised on domestic and international privacy and data security issues arising throughout the company’s operations.

During his initial tenure at Ellis & Winters, from 2007 through 2010, Alex maintained a complex litigation practice and represented clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts.  His diverse litigation experience includes representing technology companies in complex commercial contract and intellectual property disputes. 

Alex earned his law degree from Stanford Law School.  Following law school he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Milton I. Shadur in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and then began his career in private practice at Winston & Strawn LLP in Chicago. He earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Wake Forest University.
A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Alex lives in Raleigh with his wife and two daughters. He is a locally competitive runner and enjoys racing distances from the 5K to the marathon.



  • The Inside Job: Cybersecurity, Trade Secret Protection, and Departing Employee Data Theft; Association of Corporate Counsel-Research Triangle Area Chapter, Cary, NC, May 16, 2018 (with Tom Segars and Sean Fernandes)
  • Managing Privacy and Data Security Risk in eDiscovery, Women in eDiscovery, Raleigh/Durham Chapter Meeting, June 13, 2017
  • Legislative and Regulatory Developments in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy; Benchmark Data Security and Privacy Forum, February 14, 2017
  • Key Issues and Ingredients of Compliant and Effective Information Governance: Compliance with respect to handling data from the U.S. and from outside the U.S.; NCHICA Academic Medical Center Security and Privacy Conference, June 27, 2016
  • Risks, Costs, Disputes and Litigation; North Carolina Chamber and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Cybersecurity Conference, December 15, 2015
  • Best Legal Practices for Information Security and Privacy:  Advising Private and Governmental Clients; NC State Lawyers Alumni Annual Meeting, October 30, 2015
  • Data Privacy and HR; Triangle Society for Human Resource Management, April 24, 2015

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
  • Sedona Conference Working Group 11, Data Security and Privacy Liability - Drafting Team on Data Security and Privacy Issues in Civil Litigation
  • Sedona Conference Working Group 6, International Electronic Information Management, Discovery and Disclosure
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Privacy and Data Security Committee
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Future of Law Committee
  • ABA Section of Litigation, Privacy and Data Security Committee
  • ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Consumer Protection and Privacy and Information Security Committees
  • Carolina Privacy Officials Network