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Blank Rome Continues Expansion in Chicago with Addition of Litigation Team

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that three attorneys have joined the firm’s Chicago office in its Corporate Litigation group: partners Daniel R. Saeedi and Rachel L. Schaller, as well as associate Gabrielle Ganze. Daniel will serve as team co-lead, Biometric Privacy. As litigators, Daniel, Rachel, and Gabrielle represent clients in disputes related to class action litigation, privacy and biometrics, trade secrets litigation, technology and information security, and employment law. They join Blank Rome from Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP.

Blank Rome’s Chicago office opened in 2019 with four partners and, with the additions of Daniel, Rachel, and Gabrielle, now boasts 25 attorneys. Other notable hires over the past year include partners Stephanie K. Hor-Chen, Joel V. Sestito, Eric Tower, Rikke Dierssen-Morice, and Basileios “Bill” Katris.

“We are very excited to welcome Daniel, Rachel, and Gabrielle to Blank Rome,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Chair and Managing Partner. “In addition to their significant trial experience, Daniel, Rachel, and Gabrielle have a thorough understanding of biometric privacy laws, which started with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and continue to be enacted in municipalities and states across the country. This team will provide our clients with valuable counseling related to biometric privacy best practices, as well as litigation counsel when disputes arise.”

Daniel, Rachel, and Gabrielle focus their practice on litigating privacy disputes, trade secret and unfair competition claims, and complex litigation, including class, collective, and mass actions. They have a robust practice in data privacy and information security issues, including matters related to biometric information and compliance with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. The group has worked on several high-profile class actions involving consumer and employee privacy issues related to a variety of different technologies and touching on several industries, including manufacturing, logistics, information technology and software design, marketing, health and medical devices, food, entertainment, and retail.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Daniel, Rachel, and Gabrielle to our fast growing Chicago office,” said Kenneth J. Ottaviano, partner and chair of the firm’s Chicago office. “We opened the Chicago office almost five years ago to address the increasing needs of our clients who are based in or do business in the market. Since then, we have experienced strategic growth with talented attorneys in both our business and litigation departments. With more than 30 years of experience between them, Daniel, Rachel, and Gabrielle further bolster our litigation team, both nationally and in Chicago.”

Related to employment law, Daniel, Rachel, and Gabrielle represent clients nationwide in the realm of trade secret theft, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, and breaches of fiduciary duties. They provide counseling to businesses on how to employ best practices and policies to better position themselves to litigate unfair competition claims. Additionally, they counsel companies on how to conduct complex internal investigations regarding intellectual property theft, computer fraud, and unfair competition issues. Furthermore, Daniel and Rachel advise clients on issues such as class and collective actions, wage and hour violations, discrimination claims, and pattern or practice litigation.

“It is an exciting time to join Blank Rome in Chicago and the firm’s national, highly regarded litigation department. The group has many accomplished trial lawyers who work collaboratively to exceed client expectations and build strong, lasting relationships with their clients, and we are honored to join such a client-centric and collegial team,” noted Daniel. “We are eager to offer our clients the support of a national law firm that is committed to growth in the Chicago market.”

Rachel added, “To meet the needs of our clients, we wanted to join a national law firm with offices in key markets across the country. Joining Blank Rome will allow us to offer added capabilities to clients on an expanded, national platform. We are energized by the strong leadership and talented attorneys in the Chicago office and look forward to collaborating with our new colleagues in Chicago and beyond.”

Daniel is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), and an active member of the Sedona Conference regarding privacy and trade secrets issues. He earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

Rachel earned her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gabrielle earned her J.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Illinois Chicago.