Paul Tiao, a senior cybersecurity adviser to FBI Director Robert Mueller, has joined national law firm Hunton & Williams as a partner in the Washington office, the firm announced last week.

Tiao is joining the firm’s privacy and data security practice at time many major law firms are building or expanding data protection practices to meet demand from companies as they increasingly grapple with moving sensitive data onto Internet-based systems and keeping their information secure.

Tiao advised Mueller on cybersecurity, electronic surveillance and other national security issues, and helped form cybersecurity policy positions and legislative language. He was previously a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s civil rights division, and in private practice at District law firm WilmerHale. In 2010, he was nominated by President Obama to serve as inspector general of the Labor Department, but the nomination was later withdrawn.

Sterne Kessler boosts materials science practice

Veteran patent attorney John McGroarty has returned to Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, the District-based intellectual property law firm announced last week.

McGroarty was most recently a partner at international law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, and was one of five attorneys who opened the Washington office of one of Kilpatrick’s predecessor firms, Townsend and Townsend and Crew, in 2007. Townsend and Townsend and Crew merged with Kilpatrick Stockton in 2011.

McGroarty, who advises companies in managing U.S. and international patent portfolios, joins Sterne Kessler’s mechanical and materials science practice. He began his career at Sterne Kessler as a summer associate in 1993.