Dan Nelson is a rare breed: He’s both a commercial litigator and a privacy and data security lawyer. And what makes him even more unique is Dan is among the few U.S. attorneys to hold the title of Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH). That means he has been trained to break into computers, but for the right reasons.

Privacy & Data Security
Dan’s combined interest in technology and the desire to help clients protect their privacy and sensitive data motivated him to take the unusual step of becoming what’s known as a “white hat” hacker. Through this arduous training, Dan learned how to break into protected systems and networks to test and assess their security. Because of this, Dan offers clients a perspective that few lawyers possess.

In addition to his ethical hacking credential, Dan is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US). This credential means that Dan knows privacy laws and regulations and how to apply them.

Dan’s special training and experience enhances his ability to help clients protect against and prepare for data breaches and other cybersecurity incidents. He assists clients in the creation, implementation and enforcement of privacy and security policies and data breach plans. This guidance includes counseling on appropriate cybersecurity insurance coverage and risk assessment engagements. He also assists businesses with understanding their duties to retain and protect sensitive information, including privacy and document retention requirements.

In the event of a cyberattack, Dan serves as a data breach/cyber incident coach. He advises on the immediate steps needed to contain, investigate and remediate the incident. Dan’s knowledge of both the technical details of likely breaches and the attendant legal and business impacts enables him to provide clients the information needed from both a technical and legal standpoint.

Dan has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia School of Law teaching privacy and data security courses.

Business Litigation
Dan represents plaintiffs and defendants in commercial cases and has tried over 40 cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. These matters include real estate, trade secrets, securities, corporate governance and legal malpractice. In recognition of his achievements, The Best Lawyers in America® named Dan “St. Louis Lawyer of the Year” for real estate litigation, as well as listed for commercial litigation and privacy and data security law.


  • University of Missouri School of Law  (J.D., 1992)
    • Order of the Coif
    • Missouri Law Review (Member)
    • Regional Trial Competition (Member)
  • Oklahoma State University  (B.S., 1988)


  • Colorado
  • Missouri, 1992
  • Illinois, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Professional Activities

  • The Missouri Bar

Charitable and Civic Involvement

  • Lutheran Family & Children Services (Foundation Board)
  • Family Support Services (Past Board President)


  • Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) by the EC-Council
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • 2017 Missouri Bar Foundation W. Oliver Rasch Award for an outstanding substantive article in the Journal of the Missouri Bar
  • The Best Lawyers in America®; Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Real Estate, Privacy and Data Security Law (2013-present); Real Estate Litigation Lawyer of the Year (2016)
  • Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers® (2008-2012, 2017-present) / Super Lawyers® Business Edition (2012-2013)
  • Selected as a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation by Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media (ALM)
  • AV® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell