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Former senior Obama cyber expert joins Aussie-founded firm as a director

The former deputy coordinator for cyber issues at the US State Department under former president Barack Obama, who has also served as a Brigadier General and judge advocate in the US Air Force, has joined Biztech Lawyers as a director in its American offices.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 15 November 2023 SME Law
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Thomas A. Dukes Jr. (pictured) has joined Biztech Lawyers as a director, an appointment the firm said will strengthen US operations, support business development, and bolster the firm’s general counsel, cyber security, privacy and government regulation bench.

Mr Dukes was the deputy coordinator for cyber issues at the US Department of State between 2011 and 2016. He has also served as Brigadier General and judge advocate with the US Air Force (for nearly three decades), as a senior counsel at the US Department of Justice, a law professor at the University of Virginia, international cyber security principal at MITRE, founding chief executive of Veritas Data Research, and general counsel and chief quality officer at SafeGuard Cyber.

In his new role at Biztech, Mr Dukes will assist the firm’s co-founder, Chris Spillman, in managing US operations, leveraging his extensive experience as a senior cyber security expert and technology industry founder “to deepen Biztech’s bench” on matters of cyber security, data privacy, commercial and government contracts, employment law, IP protection, litigation, product development and corporate governance.


The news follows the firm’s partnering with a US-based litigation practice in March and its announced expansion into the United Kingdom and Singapore in October of last year.

Mr Spillman said: “Tom’s senior experience within the Obama administration on a matter of such critical national and international importance speaks volumes.”

“But what’s going to make him an exceptional addition to the Biztech Lawyers team is his experience as a technology industry founder and insider. He gets it, he gets our clients.”

Biztech founder and managing director Anthony Bekker added: “I had the pleasure of meeting Tom for the first time right after travel opened up following COVID-19, and it became very clear very quickly that we wanted to work together when the time was right.”

“We’re thrilled to secure Tom’s incredibly invaluable experience and can’t wait to see him advising our international client base.”

And Mr Dukes said: “One characteristic that’s served me well throughout my career is curiosity, I love working on every component of a company’s legal needs. This is an essential skill for a start-up advisor.”

“But I’ve always felt there was a gap for fast-growing technology companies when it comes to a legal advisor that doesn’t wave goodbye at the border. Once I met Chris and Anthony, it was clear to me they had cracked the code, and I’m excited to help to scale this essential business.”