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Reena R. Bajowala has deep experience with data security, information technology and privacy law issues, and a broad practice including counseling and advice, and litigation. She is a Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT), a Certified Information Privacy Professional – US (CIPP/US) and a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM). An award-winning practitioner, Reena is a sought-after speaker and presenter on topics such as cybersecurity and incident response. Through a competitive process, she was selected as a 2021-2023 Fellow of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section with the Cyberspace Law Subcommittee.

Clients turn to Reena to investigate, remediate and comply with legal obligations when faced with a data breach, including in business email compromise, ransomware or wire transfer fraud scenarios.  She has deep experience with conducting risk assessments, developing privacy and information security compliance programs, and doing proactive planning for potential data security incidents, including drafting incident response plans, communications plans and conducting tabletop exercises.   In response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s increased attention to board responsibilities regarding cybersecurity, she is retained to train public and private company boards of directors on issues of cyber literacy. In addition, Reena helps evaluate legal risks relating to emerging technologies, including Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and drones.

The Department of Labor’s current emphasis on cybersecurity marries Reena’s unique combination of decade-plus Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and benefit plan counseling and litigation experience with her expansive cybersecurity and vendor management practice.  Accordingly, she assists benefit plan sponsors with implementing cybersecurity policies and service provider management programs.

Reena also has extensive litigation and trial experience from filing of complaint to settlement or verdict, including over 100 days of first-chair trial experience. She represents buyers and providers of IT services facing issues ranging from billing and performance disputes arising from Master Services Agreements and Service Level Agreements to copyright and licensing disputes pursuant to Software Licensing and SaaS agreements. Reena also protects the interests of companies during software audits.

Because of her broad-based background in complex dispute resolution, Reena is adept at dealing with the intricacies of class, collective and plan-wide litigation in the employment and consumer fraud spaces. She has had substantial and broad experience with lawsuits involving ERISA, representing plan sponsors and service providers in both benefits and fiduciary matters.

Reena co-chairs the Drone Interest Group regulatory & legal subcommittee for leading Chicago tech incubator 1871, and serves on 1871’s Tech Council.  She is a member of the Firm’s IMagine idea incubator.  She is also a member of the Private Directors Association’s Cybersecurity Initiative and the Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force.   Reena is an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

Reena is an advocate for racial equity and access to justice.  She serves on Ice Miller’s Racial Justice Task Force.  In 2021, she spearheaded the launch of Ice Miller’s Project H.O.O.D. pro bono clinic.  She serves as President of the Board of the Albany Park Theater Project (APTP).  From 2019-2021, she served by appointment by the Lawyer’s Trust Fund of Illinois as Co-Chair the Illinois Legal Aid Diversity & Inclusion Working Group, whose work culminated in the publication of the March 2021 Legal Aid Diversity and Inclusion Working Group Report.  She also serves on the advisory board of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS).  Her previous board service includes the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Apna Ghar.  While in law school, she founded the Origins Fellowship at the University of Michigan Law School, which has distributed almost $125,000 to dozens of students dedicated to careers in public interest.

Reena received the "Best Under 40" award from NAPABA, the POW! award from Womenetics and a "Most Powerful and Influential Woman" award from the Illinois Diversity Council.  She is a 2013 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.  She has also been recognized for her pro bono work on human trafficking, fair housing, civil rights and access to justice.  In 2018, she received a Distinguished Alumni award from the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) and in 2014 she received the inaugural Corporate Partner Award from the Shriver Center on Poverty Law.

Reena joined the Firm in 2018 after spending almost 13 years as an associate and partner at an AmLaw 100 international law firm based in Chicago.
 

Firm Publications
News
Blog Posts
Published In
Speaking Engagements
  • Employment Law Trends for 2022, South Asian Bar Association of North America, December 14, 2021 (virtual)
  • IT Procurement and Contracting – From Diligence, to Contracting Disputes, Virtual Ohio Ice Miller In-House CLE Extravaganza, December 9, 2021 (virtual)
  • Practical Ethics:  Let’s Get Technical – Digital Ethics, Indiana Ice Miller In-House CLE Program, December 1, 2021 (virtual)
  • Cybersecurity, Can You Hear Me? Podcast, December 1, 2021
  • Managing Cyber Risks Today, Crowe LLP webinar, November 18, 2021 (virtual)
  • Cybersecurity and Privacy Issues for Retirement Plans That Every Employer Needs to Know, Ice Miller LLP webinar, November 4, 2021 (virtual)
  • Cyber Diligence and Resiliency in M&A, Smart Business Dealmakers Conference, October 14, 2021 (virtual)
  • Talking Cyber at the Board Level:  Effective Risk Governance for Looming Data Security Threats, General Counsel Conference Midwest, October 12, 2021 (Chicago, IL)
  • Six Real Cyber Lessons from Cyber Breaches, Ice Miller LLP and XL.net Webinar, October 6, 2021 (virtual)
  • Table For Six – Cybersecurity, South Asian Bar Association (SABA)-DC, September 28, 2021 (virtual)
  • Cybersecurity in Manufacturing & Supply Chain: Managing Vendor Risk with Information (Not Fear), Private Directors Association, June 29, 2021 (virtual)
  • "A Day in the Life of a Tech/Privacy Lawyer," South Asian Bar Association and North American South Asian Law Students Association, April 13, 2021 (virtual)
  • “Changing the Landscape/Shifting The View,” Ankura Cyber Diversity Spotlight, February 24, 2021 (virtual)
  • “Legal Essentials of Doing Business Online,” ECDI Women’s Business Centers, January 28, 2021 (virtual)
  • “Cybersecurity Webinar” with Magnitech & Ice Miller, January 26, 2021 (virtual)
  • “Partnering Problems: Vendor Negotiations, Third Parties and Legal Risk,” Ohio Credit Union League, December 10, 2020 (virtual)
  • “Proactive Cybersecurity Planning,” CForward, December 2, 2020 (virtual)
  • “Discussions on Women in Technology,” Association of Corporate Counsel - Chicago, October 29, 2020 (virtual)
  • “Women Leading Privacy” Discussion Leader, International Association of Privacy Professionals, October 22, 2020 and November 19, 2020 (virtual)
  • “Cybersecurity in M&A: Responding to Risk,”  AM&AA (Association of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors) Virtual Summer Conference, August 6, 2020 (virtual)
  • “Life After the Curve:  Navigating Private Law Practice in the Era of COVID-19,”  South Asian Bar Association of Chicago, July 28, 2020 (virtual)
  • “Data Security/Privacy – What You NEED To Know!” and “A Typical Day in the Life of a Credit Manager – Examining Slow Pay and Other Issues Credit Managers Face:  Is It a Traditional Bankruptcy Issue, or Could a Data Security Issue Be Brewing Instead?” 2020 Portland Credit Retreat, Credit and Financial Development Division (CFDD) of the National Association of Credit Management (NACM), March 13, 2020 (Troutdale, OR)
  • “Data Privacy:  Get Behind the Headlines and Learn the Real Story,” CFDD Portland Chapter Meeting, March 12, 2020 (Portland, OR)
  • “Litigating Privacy: Smart Strategies to Curb Your Company’s (or Your Client’s) Exposure,” ABA Business Law Section’s Cyberspace Law Institute and Working Meeting, January 24, 2020 (Phoenix, AZ)
  • “Cyber Warfare,” Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force, November 20, 2019 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Blockchain in Healthcare,” Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, November 13, 2019 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Privacy 101,” Itron Utility Week 2019, October 14, 2019 (San Marco, FL)
  • “Data Security & Privacy in Private Equity,” Opus Connect NYC Chapter September Healthcare Summit, September 10, 2019 (New York, NY)
  • "A Lawyer's Guide to Responding to a Data Breach," DuPage County Bar Association Business Law MCLE Meeting, July 16, 2019 (Wheaton, IL)
  • "Technology and the Law," 7th Annual Minority Bar CLE Conference, June 28, 2019 (Chicago, IL)
  • "General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"): What is its Impact so Far, and Why U.S. Employers Should Care," ABA National Symposium on Technology in Labor & Employment Law, April 11, 2019 (Chicago, IL)
  • "IA Considerations in Light of Increasing Privacy Regulations Globally," 59th Annual Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Chicago Chapter Seminar, April 1, 2019 (Rosemont, IL)
  • "The BIPA Roller Coaster: BIPA Compliance and Mitigating Litigation Risk post-Six Flags," Ice Miller, RSM, FinTex and the CBA Financial and Emerging Technologies Committee, March 15, 2019 (webinar)
  • “Making a Difference: How You Can Get Engaged,” IL Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, Law Student Leaders Access to Justice Summit, February 22, 2019 (Chicago, IL)
  • "Blockchain Can Help Lawyers – Inside and Out," American Bar Association Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, February 15, 2019 (San Antonio, TX)
  • "A Day in the Life of a Data Privacy and Security Lawyer," University of Notre Dame Law School, January 24, 2019 (Notre Dame, IN)
  • “Demystifying ‘the Cloud’: A Practical Road Map to Help Companies Set Cloud Strategy,” Crowe Year-End CPE Seminar, December 14, 2018 (Columbus, OH)
  • “Internet of Things and Everything As A Service: The Convergence of Security, Privacy and Products Liability,” IG3 (ING3ENIOUS) West, December 3, 2018 (Huntington Beach, CA)
  • “Has Skynet Finally Arrived? Artificial Intelligence and the Law of the Future,” 2018 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Conference, November 10, 2018 (Chicago, IL)
  • “The Journey: Panel with STEAM Leaders,” STEAMfest @ Hub88, November 9, 2018 (Naperville, IL)
  • “Privacy and the Future of Data Regulation,” RSM 2018 Risk Advisory Executive Forum, November 1, 2018 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Your Expert is Your Friend: How to Effectively Deliver Expert Testimony,” ABA Section of Litigation, Woman Advocate Committee Regional CLE Program: Raising the Bar, October 11, 2018 (Chicago, IL)
  • "Digital Security and Ethical Obligations,” PLI’s Illinois Basic Skills for Newly Admitted Attorneys, October 1, 2018; October 6, 2020 (Chicago, IL)
  • "Global Cyber Security and Data Privacy - A Look at GDPR, Managing an International Privacy Program and Cross-Border Data Transfer," ABA Business Law Section Meeting, September 14, 2018 (Austin, TX)
  • "Fault and Fairness: Navigating the Legal Issues of Artificial Intelligence, IoT and Other Emerging Technologies," Hub88 Tech Talk, September 12, 2018 (Naperville, IL)
  • "Cybersecurity Legal Update," Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force, August 29, 2018 (Chicago, IL)
  • "Incorporating Pro Bono Into Your Career," Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), August 8, 2018 (Chicago, IL)
  • "Emerging Technology: Data Privacy in the Legal Industry," Thomson Reuters, May 23, 2018 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Revamping Employee Data, Cloud & Social Media Policies and Training to Mitigate Legal Risks,” 18th Annual SuperConference, May 22, 2018 (Chicago, IL)
  • "The Future of Blockchain," MER Conference, Plenary Session, May 7-9, 2018 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Avoiding and, If Necessary, Defending Information Technology Disputes,” ApexCLE, December 14, 2017 (Online)
  • “Newbie Litigation School: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Refresher and Appellate Procedure 101, Financial Poise,” September 28, 2016; October 11, 2017 (Webinar)
  • “Wrangling Witnesses – Real World Advice on Successful Depositions,” South Asian Bar Association of North America Convention, July 15, 2017 (Washington, DC)
  • “How to Navigate Federal and State Practice and Procedure, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity," Fellows Alumni Conference, June 24, 2016 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Forensic Challenges: Cloud and Mobile Devices," Chicago Association of Litigation Support Managers, February 25, 2016 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Litigating India-US Cross Border Disputes," Society of Indian Law Firms, February 18, 2016 (New Dehli, India)
  • "Origins Banquet," Asian Pacific American Law Student Association at the University of Michigan Law School, March 26, 2015 (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • “Third Annual Leadership Roundtable,” Illinois Diversity Council, June 5, 2014 (Deerfield, IL)
  • “Class Action or Bust,” Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention, September 5, 2013 (Denver, CO)
  • “Recent Developments in Employee Benefits: Litigate: What Cases Might Affect My Clients?” Chicago Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee, March 12, 2013 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Women’s Leadership Coalition Roundtable,” Northwestern University Law School, January 22, 2013 (Chicago, IL)
  • “Hot Topics in Worker Classifications,” North American South Asian Bar Association National Conference, June 25, 2011 (Los Angeles, CA)
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