Professional Biography
James Snell

James G. Snell Partner

Palo Alto Office Managing Partner

  • Palo Alto

    D +1.650.838.4367

    F +1.650.838.4350

    Palo Alto

    3150 Porter Drive

    Palo Alto, CA 94304-1212


  • San Francisco

    T +1.415.344.7000

    F +1.415.344.7050

    San Francisco

    505 Howard Street, Suite 1000

    San Francisco, CA 94105-3204




Jim Snell is a privacy litigator who has guided companies through privacy, intellectual property, and complex commercial disputes for decades. Highly ranked by Chambers USA, he is also listed as a notable practitioner in the firm’s Band One-rated privacy litigation team. Clients describe Jim as “a deeply knowledgeable privacy lawyer with an innate feel for finding the right strategic path on complex regulatory and commercial privacy matters.” He is also the office managing partner (OMP) of Perkins Coie’s Palo Alto Office.

Jim’s extensive experience includes guiding high-growth startups and industry leaders, including the Rocket Mortgage family of companies, Facebook, Twitter, and Levi Strauss, in matters involving internet, privacy, and security laws related to the following:

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), and related state laws;
  • Telephone Consumer Protection (TCPA);
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA);
  • Stored Communications Act (SCA);
  • Communications Decency Act (CDA 230);
  • Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) and related laws;
  • State wiretap statutes such as the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA);
  • State autorenewal laws;
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA);
  • Web scraping laws;
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and;
  • Other consumer protection and related statutes.

In litigation, Jim defended the first lawsuit filed under the CAN-SPAM Act and the first lawsuit filed under Michigan’s Child Protection Registry. He has represented clients on appeal and before the California Supreme Court on novel issues under the SCA and prevailed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He currently represents clients on appeals of victories in the Ninth Circuit in a TCPA autodialer case and a wiretap act case brought under Washington’s Privacy Act (WPA).

Jim helps clients manage, reduce, and eliminate legal risk prior, during, and after litigation by advising on industry best practices, many of which he has helped to establish through long-term relationships with numerous brands and companies as well as with state and federal authorities and regulatory bodies. 

A third-generation California lawyer, Jim is the great-grandson of an immigrant gold miner from Cornwall, England, who studied law at night to become a lawyer and judge. California-specific laws are a core focus of Jim’s practice, including CIPA, California’s automatic renewal statute, California’s commercial email statute, unfair competition law (UCL) statute, the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), the Online Privacy Protection Act (OPPA), and the Song-Beverly Act.

Jim is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) as designated by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and has served as a co-chair of IAPP’s San Francisco Bay Area Knowledgenet program. 

Ranked by Chambers USA Two Years in a Row

Privacy & Data Security: Litigation

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Chambers Global Guide, Privacy & Data Security: Litigation, 2024
  • Listed in Chambers USA “America’s Leading Lawyer” for Privacy & Data Security: Litigation, 2022-2023
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America: Technology Law; Trademark Law 2018-2024
  • Listed in Lawdragon 500 Leading Global Cyber Lawyers, 2024
  • Recognized as an “IP Star” by Managing IP, 2014, 2016-2022
  • Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition, Top lawyer in Corporate Litigation (Intellectual Property), 2010
  • Listed in Super Lawyers Magazine as a "Northern California Super Lawyer," 2005, 2009-2022

Professional Leadership

  • American Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), prior Nor Cal IAPP KnowledgeNet, Co-chair
  • San Francisco Bay Area Intellectual Property Inn of Court
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • State Bar of California, Cyberspace Law Committee, Former Chair
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, Board Member

Community Involvement

  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Board Member, 2022
  • Salvation Army Holiday Toy Drive, 2015-2021
  • San Francisco Assistant District Attorney, 1998