Holland & Knight taps new data-privacy partner to meet ‘unprecedented’ demand

A woman is seen in silhouette as she walks at Fiumicino Airport, as Italy eases movement between regions, while the country unwinds its rigid lockdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rome, Italy June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Holland & Knight has bolstered its data strategy, security and privacy team with Hilary Lane, a partner who has longtime experience both at law firms and in-house at Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal, the firm said Tuesday.

Lane jumps to Miami-based Holland & Knight from Quarles & Brady, which she joined about a year ago.

Holland & Knight has more than 1,400 lawyers and professionals in 27 offices. The firm last month announced merger discussions with Dallas-based Thompson & Knight, a deal which would give it 275 additional lawyers and three new locations.

Lane’s in-house experience will be an asset to Holland & Knight’s corporate clients, the firm said. At NBCUniversal, she was chief privacy officer for five years, after holding senior information governance and litigation positions there for several years. After leaving the media and entertainment conglomerate, she served for a few months as interim senior director and global head of privacy at WeWork.

“The boards and the C-suites of our corporate clients should be especially pleased to meet Hilary, given her practical in-house experience and familiarity with some of the most stringent data privacy laws, particularly as more commerce is conducted online,” Brad Kimbro, executive partner of Holland & Knight’s Tampa office, said in a statement.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, she practiced for 16 years at Clifford Chance, according to her LinkedIn page.

Holland & Knight is the latest firm to scoop up a lawyer with privacy or data security experience to strengthen its offerings in the growing and in-demand practice area.

Perkins Coie on Monday hired technology transactions and privacy partner Adrienne Ehrhardt, who previously was the chair of Michael Best & Friedrich’s privacy and cybersecurity practice. Davis Wright Tremaine, Blank Rome and Squire Patton Boggs are among the other firms that have hired in related practices in the past few months.

Mark Melodia, the leader of Holland & Knight’s data strategy, security and privacy team, in a statement said the group is handling “an unprecedented amount of work.”

With Lane’s help, “we will have a greater ability to provide top-level legal services to the media, financial, healthcare, telecommunications, and other sectors for which data privacy and security have become critical concerns,” Melodia said.

Lane, in a statement, said she’s excited to join the team.

“Data privacy and consumer rights laws are emerging throughout the world, making the challenge of compliance seem like a moving target,” Lane said. “I enjoy helping clients not only meet this challenge, but also build a more transparent, accountable and resilient organization.”

She wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Quarles & Brady didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on her departure.

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Sara Merken