Patrick Bernhardt

Senior Associate

Bernhardt, Patrick

Patrick Bernhardt advises companies on a broad range of US and international privacy, consumer protection and data security laws. He works with clients at every stage to achieve their business goals while implementing practical solutions to manage the risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure of information. He regularly counsels clients on issues arising under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, as well as federal, state and international laws, and self-regulatory codes.

Mr. Bernhardt represents clients in privacy and data security investigations by the FTC and other federal and state regulators. He has defended retailers, software companies, advertising technology companies, mobile app developers, transportation, and healthcare companies against regulatory investigations into privacy and data security practices, and has assisted them in responding to security breaches.

Mr. Bernhardt drafts and advises on privacy policies and contractual provisions related to the collection, use and disclosure of information. He counsels clients on the privacy impacts and risks in M&A transactions, strategic partnerships and commercial deals. He also has experience conducting privacy risk assessments to evaluate privacy policies and practices across an organization and in multiple jurisdictions.

Mr. Bernhardt also assists with general litigation, regulatory and consumer protection matters, and has provided pro bono services to non-profit organizations seeking advice on privacy and data security issues. He is qualified as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP-US) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Mr. Bernhardt worked in a leading privacy and data security practice of another major law firm in Washington DC. Mr. Bernhardt also previously served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and as an assistant analyst in the Congressional Budget Office.


Mr. Bernhardt is a frequent contributor to WilmerHale's Privacy and Cybersecurity Law Blog, which addresses cybersecurity, privacy and communications developments around the world.

Publications & News


August 17, 2016

Self-Regulatory Actions Signal Warning for Mobile Apps That Allow Third Parties to Collect Information for Interest-Based Advertising

An article by Reed Freeman and Patrick Bernhardt, published in Bloomberg BNA's Electronic Commerce & Law Report. discusses two recent actions against mobile application developers for allowing third parties to collect user data for advertising purposes, highlighting a trend of increasing privacy enforcement within the industry.

July 20, 2016

The FTC's Entry Into Rooftop Solar Consumer Protection

In this article published by Law360, Mark Kalpin, Patrick Bernhardt and former Associate Joseph Jerome explain why companies should stay abreast of the FTC's actions as it continues to evaluate consumer protection-related issues regarding solar energy and take appropriate steps to ensure that their marketing practices and contracts conform to applicable law and best industry practices.

July 1, 2016

FTC Workshop Examines Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in Rooftop Solar Industry

On June 21, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the rooftop solar industry—also known as solar “distributed generation.”

November 17, 2015

Commission Examines Privacy and Cybersecurity Issues Associated With Emerging Cross-Device Tracking Technology

On Monday, November 16, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop that examined the key privacy and security issues raised by emerging technologies that track users across their various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, desktops, TVs and other Internet-connected devices.


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JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 2013

BA, French and Economics, St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2007, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


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