J. Christopher Erb Partner - Business and Corporate Law
Chris Erb is a corporate attorney focusing primarily on small and mid-sized international companies doing business in the United States, particularly in the areas of computer, internet, and privacy/data security law. Chris also assists with the structuring and formation of corporations, negotiating contracts and agreements, and mitigating risks associated with doing business in the United States. With his knowledge and understanding of European (primarily German) business practices and law, Chris helps clients understand the similarities and differences between the European and US business environment, including recognizing and avoiding the risks associated with the often litigious US market.
Chris was previously an adjunct professor of law at Temple University School of Law, and has been a frequent speaker on cybersquatting and internet law for the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Chris has also contributed articles to various publications including German American Trade and ACCA Docket.
Chris is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the American Bar Association Business and International Sections, and the German American Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia. Chris is fluent in German and dabbles in Spanish (and, from time to time, Polish). Chris spent almost five years living in Munich, Germany in addition to a short stint in Frankfurt and a brief period studying in Prague, and has travelled to at least 30 countries on four continents. Chris has worked with clients from many of those countries, including clients from 10 of Germany’s 16 states.
Chris is a hockey (both field and ice) and soccer dad and spends a lot of time working in the corner of a cold ice rink or his car during practices. In his spare time, such as it is, Chris enjoys hiking and aspires to return to playing guitar and bicycling. Chris also enjoys trying new and interesting beers – local, German, or otherwise – so feel free to look for him on Untappd.
- American Bar Association – International & Business Law Sections, Cyberspace Committee, IP Committee
- German-American Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia – Board and Executive Committee Member
- International Association of Privacy Professionals
- Warwick Legal Network
- Advise on structuring and formation of US subsidiaries of foreign companies from countries across the globe, including Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, India, and Japan.
- Form Pennsylvania and Delaware corporations and assist with registration to do business throughout the United States.
- Assist with setting up new US corporations, including banking and insurance, commercial leases, and intracompany agreements.
- Draft and advise on employment agreements and related documents and procedures.
- Draft, review, and advise on commercial contracts and transactions.
- Apply for and assist with trademark applications for US and international companies.
- Assist German and other international companies with US legal issues ranging from worker’s compensation to collections and customer disputes as well as business and cultural issues relating to the operation of a business in the United States.
Technology and Internet Clients
- Draft and advise regarding website terms and conditions, privacy policies and related terms and policies, as well as affiliate, co-marketing, and other subcontracted services agreements for domestic clients and subsidiaries of foreign companies.
- Draft and negotiate consulting and software licensing agreements with programmers and IT consultants in diverse jurisdictions including the United States, India, Romania, and the Netherlands.
- Draft reseller contracts for software, SaaS, and IaaS providers covering markets worldwide, both as a provider and a reseller, including agreements with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and other well-known providers.
- Negotiate design-build and lease agreement for multi-million dollar data center; negotiate co-location and related communication and infrastructure agreements for data centers and other IT providers.
- Negotiate and draft online marketing agreements, including content licensing, sponsorship, affiliate, and co-marketing agreements.
- Advise European (including German, UK, and Lithuanian) and domestic clients on managing third-party risk for online content, including copyright (DMCA) trademark, and defamation (CDA Section 230) issues, whether domestic or international, including claims from countries such as India, Israel, Russia.
- Advise and prepare guidelines for responding to internet-related law enforcement inquiries from across the world ranging from subpoenas and search warrants to MLAT’s and national security related information requests; advise re relevant laws, such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), Stored Communications Act (SCA), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and assist with escalated or over-broad requests.
- Assist and train client’s internal personnel and draft procedures to enable in-house triage of third-party liability risk and response to law enforcement and other information requests, advise on matters which require escalation to counsel.
- Draft and negotiate purchase agreements for websites and related online properties.
- Draft and negotiate distribution agreements, inbound for German and other international clients and outbound to Russia, Germany, and other EU countries.
- Negotiate supply agreements with purchasers of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, especially in the areas of packaging, paper products, and industrial products
- Advise on and assist with regulatory issues, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Buy American Act (BAA), and similar procurement obligations.
Privacy, Identity, and Online Security
- Draft and negotiate data processing and data security agreements for multinational. and domestic e-commerce clients, including SEO/SEM and Analytics firms as well as IaaS and SaaS providers.
- Advise on data privacy and security breaches and other risks under domestic and international law, including notification obligations.
- Draft and advise on Business Associate Agreements under HIPAA and similar.
- Train and assist with development of privacy and related training programs for client employees.
- Coordinate with IT professionals and foreign counsel to audit and improve privacy practices and ensure compliance with relevant laws, including GDPR (EU), PIPEDA (Canada), FDPL (Mexico), and LGPD (Brazil).
- Coordinate and manage defense of patent litigation for German and domestic clients in diverse jurisdictions, including Delaware, California, and the Eastern District of Texas.
- Manage third-party litigation risk and coordinate defense as needed throughout the United States and abroad, including Canada, Mexico, and India.
- Coordinate and manage defense of diverse litigation cases and regulatory inquiries under US law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Telecommunications Privacy Act (TCPA), and various consumer protection laws and regulations.
- Assist European management and employment personnel in understanding and complying with litigation processes and risks which are unique to the United States, including in-person assistance in offices overseas to meet with management and carry out necessary document collection and other discovery requirements.
- Owen J. Roberts Bearcats Girls’ Ice Hockey Team – Manager
- Georgetown University Law School, Graduate coursework in International Law
- Temple University School of Law, Juris Doctor and graduate coursework in Tax
- The Law School at Charles University, Czech Republic, coursework in Central European Law and the Transition to a Market Economy
- Drexel University, Commerce & Engineering in Marketing and German