Blank Rome Expands Privacy, Security & Data Protection Practice with Leading Team in California
New Team Expands the Firm’s West Coast Presence into Orange County, CA
Blank Rome LLP is pleased to welcome three new attorneys to the firm’s Corporate, M&A, and Securities group, notably enhancing the firm’s Privacy, Security & Data Protection practice: partners Sharon R. Klein, who will serve as chair of the Privacy, Security & Data Protection practice, and Alex C. Nisenbaum, as well as associate Karen H. Shin. The prominent team will also establish a new office for Blank Rome in Orange County, California. They join Blank Rome from Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP where Sharon led compliance for the Cybersecurity, Information Governance and Privacy practice group.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sharon, Alex, and Karen to our firm as part of our strategic plan to grow our Privacy, Security & Data Protection practice, a critical area of focus for our firm as the data privacy landscape continues to rapidly evolve on a global scale,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “Across numerous industries, many businesses will need to carefully review and revise their privacy compliance plans, beyond just a litigation or regulatory focus. Sharon and Alex are nationally recognized for their work in this space, and the team’s collective high-level privacy and cybersecurity experience will be not only essential to our clients, but also to our attorneys across many practice areas who will be able to draw on their legal talent to provide enhanced client service offerings. In addition to growing our Privacy, Security & Data Protection practice, we are also excited to further expand Blank Rome’s presence on the West Coast with a new Orange County office—an important region for our clients and in alignment with our firm’s strategic growth plans.”
“Sharon, Alex, and Karen will significantly expand our Privacy, Security & Data Protection practice capabilities and are the perfect team to lead the continued buildout of Blank Rome’s privacy and data security service offerings,” said Jennifer J. Daniels, a partner in the firm’s Corporate, M&A, and Securities group and a lead attorney in the Privacy, Security & Data Protection practice. “This area of law has become increasingly important for our clients due to a trend of state legislatures introducing comprehensive consumer privacy and biometric privacy bills, as well as the momentum toward a European standard of privacy and increased pressure on Congress to pass a federal privacy law. With Sharon at the helm of our practice, we are excited to offer our clients added depth and experience to our service offerings and capabilities.”
The team collectively advises clients on state, federal, and international data privacy and information security laws, regulations, and rules, including compliance with HIPAA/HITECH, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and the California Consumer Privacy Act. They have significant experience assessing and mitigating risks related to the privacy and security of personal data; data ownership and commercialization of data; artificial intelligence; planning, auditing, drafting, and implementing privacy, security, and data protection policies and best practices; and breach response, crisis management, and investigation strategies for non-compliance. They are also well-versed in negotiating and drafting complex technology and cloud transactions, licensing, and strategic IT and commercial agreements. Their clients span a variety of industries, such as healthcare, consumer goods, e-commerce, FinTech, pharmaceutical, medical device, financial services, education, automotive, and manufacturing. Sharon and Alex are also both certified as information privacy professionals by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
“Blank Rome has a strong team of experienced cybersecurity and data privacy attorneys, and we are eager to bring our practices together and form a robust, collaborative platform that will greatly benefit our clients’ evolving needs in this critical space,” said Klein. “In addition to expanding the team and practice offerings, we are excited to help launch the firm’s new Orange County office and we look forward to growing both the office and our presence in the region with leading talent.”
Nisenbaum continued, “We are committed to ensuring that our clients understand and mitigate the risks involved with use of data in their businesses. Our goal is to enable them to comply with regulations while still positioning themselves to leverage the value of that data. We look forward to working with our new Blank Rome colleagues to expand cybersecurity and data privacy offerings for clients, and to working with the firm’s experienced industry teams to further support our clients across a spectrum of legal needs.”
Sharon brings more than 40 years’ experience to Blank Rome and is a known thought leader in data privacy, cybersecurity, and complex technology transactions. Her acumen in data privacy stems not only from her significant experience executing outsourcing and technology contracts, but also from the 12 years she spent as associate general counsel at Siemens Medical Solutions USA where she notably focused on operationalizing healthcare and life science regulations, including HIPAA/HITECH and the Common Rule. Sharon is active in many organizations, serving as a board member of the Girl Scouts of Orange County; a member of HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society); a commissioner of the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission; and a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services task force working to promote national cybersecurity standards. Sharon earned her J.D. from Temple University School of Law and her B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Syracuse University.
Alex synthesizes the patchwork of state and federal legal requirements to assist clients in bringing innovative products to market and develop compliance programs that are in line with their business goals. He notably advises consumers and vendors of information technology products and services on commercial technology agreements involving cloud services and software licensing, software and mobile application development, information technology and business process outsourcing, hardware acquisition, telecommunications, data licensing, and professional services. Alex earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law and his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Karen focuses on a diverse range of data privacy and information security matters, including compliance with various privacy laws and regulations. She also assists clients in developing and implementing internal and external privacy policies as well as drafts various technology-related agreements and performs due diligence reviews. She is a member of the Orange County Korean American Bar Association. Karen earned her J.D. from the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and her B.A. from New York University.