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Industry Thought Leader Tanya Forsheit Joins BakerHostetler

InfoLawGroup Founding Partner and IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional is sixth major practice addition in 2014

Tanya Forsheit

BakerHostetler is proud to announce that Partner Tanya Forsheit has joined the firm’s Privacy and Data Protection team in the Los Angeles office. The sixth significant lawyer to join the firm’s preeminent Privacy and Data Protection practice in 2014, Forsheit is best known for her work with clients to address legal requirements and best practices for protection of customer and employee information. Forsheit is an International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Certified Information Privacy Professional with experience in all aspects of privacy and data security law. She joins BakerHostetler from the well-known privacy and data security boutique law firm, InfoLawGroup LLP, where she was a founding partner.

Forsheit assists companies, from multinationals to startups, on all aspects of cutting-edge privacy and data protection issues, including compliance, contracts, complex regulatory schemes, and large-scale litigation matters. Her compliance-side work includes counseling clients across many industry sectors – including consumer electronics, financial services, oil and gas, technology, media and entertainment, and fraud prevention -- on thorny issues in sensitive data management, information protection, and Big Data analytics.

Her transactional experience includes negotiating cloud computing and similar IT outsourcing deals for service providers and enterprise purchasers. Forsheit’s 17 years of litigation experience includes the handling of complex commercial and appellate matters for corporate clients in federal and state courts, including purported class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, representation of companies in litigation brought under privacy statutes such as California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA), and disputes involving online scraping. She has represented clients in FTC privacy investigations and has handled more than 100 data security breaches over the span of her career.

Forsheit joins a nationally renowned Privacy and Data Protection team that has responded to more than 600 data breaches, including 175 responses just in the past year. The team is recognized as a premier practice by top legal rankings organizations, including Chambers and Partners, Chambers Global, Legal 500, and Law360. Chambers USA has noted the team’s deep expertise in data breach incidents, and sources have lauded the team as "terrific lawyers - very knowledgeable, good with clients and very savvy on cybersecurity" (Chambers USA, 2014). The national privacy team has nearly 40 attorneys based in offices across the U.S., including New York, Washington D.C., California, Seattle, and several other locations.

Also joining BakerHostetler from InfoLawGroup is Counsel Scott Koller . Koller is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional whose practice focuses on information technology, privacy, and data security matters. Koller has extensive experience handling a wide range of complex litigation in both federal and state courts. His addition to the team comes at a time when firm clients are increasingly finding value in security assessments led by CISSP attorneys. Koller and Seattle Partner Randy Gainer bring that unique and highly sought-after credential to the practice.

“BakerHostetler’s recent wins in groundbreaking privacy cases in California have drawn national and regional attention and well-known privacy leaders such as Tanya have taken note,” said Theodore Kobus, co-chair of BakerHostetler’s national Privacy and Data Protection team.  “California is the hotbed of many privacy and privacy litigation issues. Our presence in this market is part of the firm’s continued commitment to meet client demands and play a front-and-center role in this dynamic area of the law.” 

Recently, BakerHostetler served as counsel in a precedent-setting California court decision in a privacy breach lawsuit against firm client Eisenhower Medical Center. The significant ruling eliminated $500 million in potential damages for Eisenhower and concluded that patient demographics and the fact that a person went to a hospital do not qualify as medical information under California’s CMIA. The firm is also defending dozens of investigations underway in California, including those conducted by the California Department of Public Health, Department of Health and Human Services, various attorneys general, and other regulatory and enforcement agencies.

Forsheit and Koller join the firm’s LA office following the addition of media convergence attorney Alan Friel, also a member of the privacy team. Randy Gainer (Seattle), a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), joined the privacy practice in March.  Former Federal Trade Commissioner and privacy co-chair Pamela Jones Harbour (DC & NY) and Counsel Eric Packel (Philadelphia) joined in January 2014. This growth builds on the momentum established by BakerHostetler’s recent combination with national Intellectual Property firm Woodcock Washburn, a merger that added nearly 70 IP attorneys and three new offices to BakerHostetler’s national profile.

“Joining BakerHostetler is a great boon to the litigation and investigations side of my privacy and data security practice,” said Forsheit. “The firm’s wealth of litigators are the perfect complement to my existing compliance and transactional experience.”

“We are excited to have Tanya and Scott join the firm and our growing LA office,” said John F. Cermak, Jr., managing partner of BakerHostetler’s Los Angeles office. “Their industry-leading experience, national credentials, and complex litigation experience will be a great benefit to our clients here on the West Coast and across the U.S.”

Forsheit is a frequent writer and speaker, having presented at numerous American Bar Association and Practising Law Institute conferences, as well as the renowned annual RSA information security conference. Forsheit has also been named one of the Los Angeles Daily Journal’s Top 100 women litigators in California. She is a well-known blogger in the privacy and data security space and has appeared on national and local television news programs to address recent developments in this rapidly evolving legal area. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1997, where she was a Senior Editor of the Journal of International Economic Law; she earned her AB in Political Science and English, cum laude, from Duke University in 1994.

About BakerHostetler

One of the nation’s largest law firms, BakerHostetler helps clients around the world to address their most complex and critical business and regulatory issues. With five core national practice groups – business, employment, intellectual property, litigation, and tax – the firm has nearly 900 lawyers located in 14 offices coast to coast. BakerHostetler is recognized for its role as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee in the recovery of billions of dollars in principal lost in the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff. Additionally, BakerHostetler is widely regarded as having one of the country’s top 10 tax practices, a nationally recognized litigation practice, data privacy practice, and an industry-leading middle market business practice.


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