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Seyfarth establishes biometric privacy group to help businesses cope with patchwork of state laws


Law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP is launching a Biometrics Privacy Compliance & Litigation Group to help businesses comply with the patchwork of state privacy laws, and defend them against potential class actions.

Seyfarth has offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C, and was one of the first firms to defend an employer in a lawsuit brought under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), according to the announcement. Since then, the firm has maintained a docket of biometric privacy class action cases across the country, and partnered with clients to proactively address issues raised by biometric privacy laws.

The new group is a multidisciplinary group of more than 25 attorneys, headed by Labor & Employment attorneys Karla Grossenbacher and Thomas Ahlering.

“Today, more and more clients are turning to biometric technology in the workplace, while legislation across the country concerning biometric privacy continues to accelerate,” says Grossenbacher. “With this rapidly shifting landscape, advice from counsel that has significant experience with biometric privacy compliance issues is invaluable.”

“Beyond compliance challenges, we are uniquely positioned in defending both class action and labor and employment related litigation—helping clients navigate the novel litigation theories being tested in the courts for the first time in this cutting-edge area of the law,” explains Ahlering.

The Biometrics Privacy Compliance & Litigation Group will work with clients primarily in counseling and compliance, class action litigation, and assisting in legislation monitoring and lobbying efforts.

Several other firms have recently established biometric privacy practices to help businesses deal with BIPA suits, which have increased in number after the State Supreme Court ruled that procedural violations constitute legal harm.

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