Clark Hill Adds Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Lawyer Melissa Ventrone as a Member in Chicago Office

Jul 17, 2018

CHICAGO, IL – Clark Hill PLC today announced the addition of Melissa Ventrone as a Member in the firm’s Cybersecurity Practice where she will focus on providing advice and counsel on best practices for prevention and compliance in the data security area,  pre and post-event data breach response, payment card industry standards and investigation, advising clients in identifying, evaluating and managing first and third-party data privacy and security risks, and advising as part of a litigation team when applicable.

“We are delighted to welcome Melissa to Clark Hill’s Chicago office,” said Ray J. Koenig III, Member-in-Charge of the firm’s Chicago office.  “Building out this important capability at the firm in a world where data breaches are an everyday event is more critical than ever for our clients.”

Prior to joining Clark Hill, Ventrone was a partner and chair of the data privacy and security practice at a Chicago based law firm.  She has led over 1,500 cybersecurity incident responses, the largest involving 23M individual records, and has handled matters on behalf of merchants, financial institutions, medical providers and educational institutions, as well as the insurance companies representing the affected companies. 

“The broad reach of Clark Hill’s platform offers me an outstanding opportunity to build out a national cybersecurity practice,” Ventrone noted. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with Clark Hill lawyers and their impressive roster of clients.”

As part of her cybersecurity risk management practice, Ventrone advises clients on compliance with state, federal and international laws and regulations, reviews and develops cyber crisis response plans, and coordinates with management teams, boards of directors, and third parties to build and execute risk-mitigating action plans.  She also has represented numerous clients in litigation and arbitration, including in disputes related to privacy, invasion of privacy, contracts, consumer fraud, statutory claims and other matters. 

“Melissa is laser focused on cybersecurity and breach response issues,” said Kaveri Subbarao, Business Unit Director for Litigation.  “With the GDPR enforcement date in the rear view mirror, there is a huge need for companies to get into compliance with its complex and strict requirements.”

Ventrone earned her J.D. at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, and her B.S. at Northern Illinois University.  Among her many leadership roles, she has served in key positions as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve as a logistics officer before retiring in 2016.

Founded in 1890, Clark Hill has been significantly expanding since 2013, beginning with the addition of 100 lawyers from Thorp Reed & Armstrong.  In 2017, the firm acquired Los Angeles-based Morris Polich & Purdy LLP and added nearly 100 more lawyers, and in 2018 the firm combined with Texas-based Strasburger & Price, adding 200 additional lawyers in Texas, New York, Washington, D.C. and Mexico City.

About Clark Hill PLC

Clark Hill is an international law firm with multidisciplinary practices that draw on our attorneys’ industry and policy knowledge, our deeply held shared values, and a global network of premier firms and advisors to provide innovative legal solutions and client service excellence worldwide.

As one of the largest law firms in the United States with over 600 attorneys and professionals in 25 offices across the nation, as well as offices in Dublin and Mexico City, Clark Hill is everywhere its clients require high quality legal representation. Please visit our website at http://www.clarkhill.com or follow us on Twitter @ClarkHillUpdate and @CHPublicAffairs.