Liisa Thomas, a partner based in the firm’s Chicago office, is the chair of the firm’s privacy and data security practice. Her clients rely on her ability to create clarity in a sea of confusing legal requirements and feel she is “a pleasure to work with on potential breach incidents.” They describe her as “extremely responsive, while providing thoughtful legal analysis combined with real world practical advice and steps to properly resolve potential breach incidents.”
Ms. Thomas, who was born in Finland and has lived in France, Egypt, and Spain, frequently coordinates global efforts in the privacy area for her clients. Clients value her global insights and familiarity with business systems outside of the U.S. With Ms. Thomas’s assistance, her clients – which include major consumer brands, advertising agencies, and consumer research companies – are able to navigate thorny data breach disclosure issues, use emerging interactive advertising techniques, and create compliant security programs all while effectively managing their legal risks. She assists clients with a variety of legal issues, including:
- Identifying and investigating data breach incidents
- Coaching clients through the data breach notification process
- Creating information protection and security programs
- Simplifying privacy policies to better protect corporate clients
- Developing compliant text message and mobile marketing campaigns
- Navigating the complex legal world of online behavioral advertising
- Ensuring compliance in social media promotions
- Counseling on children's advertising and privacy issues
Ms. Thomas has been recognized by the Leading Lawyers Network, Chambers, The Legal 500, was honored by CorporateLiveWire as both a 2015 Global Award Winner in technology, media, and communication, and as the 2014 Advertising Lawyer of the Year in Illinois. Ms Thomas was listed as one of 15 practitioners nationwide in the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Annual List of Rainmakers in 2014. She has been praised for her “superb advertising and privacy law practice” and her “encyclopedic mind.” She is described as “remarkably perceptive,” someone who “always consider[s the client’s] business environment,” and is praised for her ability to “explain issues and get to the heart of the matter.” She is often quoted by the press and has spoken and written extensively on cutting edge privacy law matters, including authoring Thomas on Data Breach: A Practical Guide to Handling Worldwide Data Breach Notification, described as “a no-nonsense roadmap for in-house and external practitioners alike.”
Ms. Thomas is the editor of the Winston & Strawn Privacy Law Corner blog and is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. She is on the adjunct faculty and educational advisory board at the John Marshall Law School Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law, and is also the immediate past president of the board of Illinois Legal Aid Online. Ms. Thomas serves on the board of trustees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the CLIPP Advisory Council.
Ms. Thomas received a B.A. in History from Haverford College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. She is an avid sailboat racer, plays violin in the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra made up of lawyers and judges, and is on the board of trustees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- District of Columbia
- University of Chicago, JD, 1996
- Haverford College, BA, 1993