Blair L. Dawson has joined the Chicago office of McDonald Hopkins LLC as a Member, where her decades of in-house and corporate experience in the financial and insurance industries combined with her background in responding to data security incidents will enhance the firm’s national Data privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.
Dawson an ANSI-accredited International Association of Privacy Professionals Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) and Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM). She is currently preparing for the Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E). She is also working towards a Master of Science in Cybersecurity from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a completion date estimated in the spring of 2024.
“Blair’s level of data privacy experience and expertise, coupled with her knowledge of the latest developments in this evolving area of law make her an invaluable addition to our team,” says Dominic Paluzzi, Co-Chair of McDonald Hopkins’ Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. “Every day, our clients are facing the growing threat of more prevalent and more dangerous cyber attacks. Having someone like Blair who can provide proactive guidance and incident response support in the event of an attack adds tremendous strength to our rapidly growing cyber team.”
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Dawson has spent more than 20 years as an attorney in Chicago, including two years as General Counsel and Senior Vice President in Insurance Management for Acrisure, LLC– one of the largest international insurance brokers in the world. While there, she developed and oversaw the company’s complex insurance program, implementing cyber incident response policies and protocols, overseeing risk management, engaging in insurance program negotiations, managing litigated and non-litigated claims, providing client training to mitigate risk, and resolving insurance coverage disputes.
Dawson’s practice includes extensive experience responding to data security incidents while ensuring her clients remain compliant with state, federal and international requirements, as well as managing operational and reputational impact. She has managed numerous international claims, coordinating with her clients’ general counsel, and regularly provides coverage and monitoring of litigation and pre-litigation matters and insurance claims. Dawson also develops and provides oversight for complex insurance programs, implementing cyber incident response policies and protocols, overseeing risk management, engaging in insurance program negotiations, retaining and overseeing outside counsel, providing client training to mitigate risk, and resolving insurance coverage disputes.
Dawson’s experience also includes representing private companies and public entities whose operations have been affected by ransomware attacks. She works with clients and third-parties, including forensic investigators, law enforcement and ransomware negotiators to identify and contain the incident, minimize disruption to business operations, deliver effective public communications, minimize exposure to possible litigation and regulatory investigations, and avoid further attacks.
Dawson also consults with clients on compliance issues, utilizing knowledge of U.S. and international privacy laws, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA),Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
After earning her B.A. from Marquette University, Dawson completed her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
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