Kari M. Rollins is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group and Office Managing Partner of the New York office.
Areas of Practice
Kari focuses on data privacy and data security, and complex commercial litigation matters. She has successfully represented clients in the financial services, audit and accounting, retail and fashion, food services, hospitality, manufacturing, and technology industries before state and federal courts, as well as in front of state attorneys general, federal regulators, and U.S. and international commercial arbitration forums.
Kari serves as a trusted advisor to her clients, bringing a focused, strategic approach to complex litigation and data security matters alike. Her clients praise her ability to efficiently and effectively manage complex matters with multiple moving pieces, and to concisely and persuasively communicate the core issues of her clients’ cases to judges, regulators, and opposing counsel. These traits have enabled Kari to successfully argue critical motions, procure dismissals, and achieve successful resolutions for her clients in the context of complex commercial litigation, as well as effectively managing high-intensity incident response matters and regulatory inquiries arising from data privacy and security issues.
As it relates to her data security practice, Kari offers her clients the continuity of effective assistance during all three critical stages of the data security lifecycle: (1) cybersecurity preparedness (the before); (2) data breach investigation and response (the during); and (3) data breach litigation and regulatory enforcement (the after). As part of cybersecurity preparedness, Kari assists clients in crafting their existing security and compliance practices in the context of the ever-changing data security regulations so they are as well positioned as possible in the event of the inevitable data incident or inquiry. When a data incident occurs, Kari draws on her significant litigation and internal investigation experience to manage and direct all aspects of incident response for her clients—from directing forensic investigators, to liaising with insurance counsel, to determining whether the facts of the incident give rise to a duty to notify, to overseeing notification to consumers and regulatory bodies, and to assisting with communications to Boards and responding to media inquiries. Finally, post-breach, in the event litigation or regulatory inquiries ensue, Kari draws on her significant litigation experience to offer clients strategic assistance in defending against complex data privacy litigation and/or regulatory inquiries from state and/or federal regulators.
Recognizing her effective assistance in the area of data security, Kari was named to Cybersecurity Docket’s 2019 Incident Response 30, which recognizes 30 of the best and brightest data breach response lawyers in the business who are key players in the most significant data breach responses worldwide. Global Data Review also named Kari to its first annual “40 under 40” list in 2018, praising her as one of the top 40 practitioners in data privacy globally under the age of 40. Kari is also a partner in the Privacy and Cybersecurity team of Sheppard Mullin, which was recognized as a “2018 Practice Group of the Year” by Law360.
Kari is invited annually to give numerous speeches and seminars on data privacy and data breaches by organizations across the country, and regularly writes articles and blog posts on emerging trends and topics in data privacy. Notably, Kari wrote a chapter on cybersecurity standards and data breach response in Volume III of The US Privacy Equity Fund Compliance Guide published by Privacy Equity International, and currently sits on the Drafting Committee of the Sedona Conference WG11 on Data Security and Privacy Liability, which is responsible for drafting and publishing the Sedona Conference WG11 Incident Response Guide, a practitioners guide to navigating the law and issues relating to preparing for, managing, and responding to data breaches. Recently, Kari brought her experience to the classroom as an adjunct law professor at DePaul University’s College of Law in Chicago, teaching a course on data breach law.
Representative Cases By Industry:
Retail, Technology, and Consumer Products
- Assisted a large manufacturer of consumer electronics products in responding to a government inquiry and successfully staving off an enforcement action relating to a data breach experienced by one of the company’s product lines.
- Assisted several large fashion brands in conducting a data privacy internal investigation relating to a web-based retail platform and effectively responding to press, bank, board, and consumer inquiries relating to the incident.
- Assisted a large consumer products brand in conducting a data privacy internal investigation into a security incident involving usernames and passwords.
- Assisted a leader in global information services and publishing company in conducting two internal investigations.
- Assisted a large international online retailer in conducting an investigation into a data incident, managing notification of the data incident to impacted consumers, liaising with law enforcement, responding to regulatory inquiries, and successfully avoiding state enforcement actions.
- Assisted several retail and consumer products companies in investigating a recent plague of W2 phishing scams, managing the notification process to impacted employees, liaising with the FBI and IRS in efforts to catch the perpetrators, and responding to regulatory and individual inquiries.
Industrial Products and Manufacturing
- Defended a large dairy cooperative (an alleged 65% market share participant) in the defense of a large, multi-district federal direct purchaser antitrust class action in the Eastern District of Tennessee, In re Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation, No. 08-MD-100, managing all aspects of this complex litigation up to trial and the successful settlement of matter.
- Obtained a dismissal for a large dairy cooperative in an indirect purchaser antitrust class action filed in the Eastern District of Tennessee, Food Lion LLC, et al. v. Dean Foods Company, et al., No. 2:07-cv-188, arguing the summary judgment motion that successfully resulted in the dismissal of the client from the case while other defendants marched to trial or settlement.
- Assisted a large industrial products brand in conducting an internal investigation into a data breach involving usernames and passwords and successfully effectuating notice to consumers and state attorneys general.
- Assisted a large industrial products brand in swiftly investigating a breach involving theft of protected health information and efficiently effectuating notice to consumers and the relevant federal agency.
- Assisted one of the world’s leading performance coatings companies in a confidential internal investigation.
- Assisted a global autoparts manufacturer in investigating and responding to a data incident involving the theft of company and employee data.
Hospitality and Food Services
- Assisted national fast-food company in defending multi-district federal consumer class action litigation stemming from disclosure of a data breach.
- On behalf of an international hotel chain, and in cooperation with law enforcement, we led a team of cyber-forensic investigators in a multi-country internal investigation into a malware attack involving the possible unauthorized acquisition of guest information. Acting as its data breach coach, we aided the client in swiftly identifying, containing, and remediating the malicious activity, and provided counsel regarding the client’s obligations under the applicable myriad state breach notice laws and international regulations. As a result of our work, the client was able to efficiently notify impacted consumers and relevant regulators without incident and successfully manage the simultaneous demands of a data breach.
- Assisted a global food company in swiftly and efficiently conducting two confidential internal investigations relating to its web-based platform and retail processing systems.
- Assisted a national fast food company in investigating a data incident involving its point-of-sale systems and online platform.
Accounting and Auditing
- Defended a large international accounting firm in a federal securities and shareholder derivative litigation arising from the collapse of HealthSouth Corporation, including the successful defense of the client in an arbitration pursued by HealthSouth itself against its former auditor on a variety of legal theories. After several months on trial, a three-judge arbitral panel granted judgment in the auditor’s favor.
- Defended a large international auditing firm in securities fraud and professional liability litigation involving the New York-based financial services company Refco, Inc.
- Represented a global financial services firm in the successful defense of an action that alleged it violated the Commodity Exchange Act by allegedly manipulating the 30-Year Treasury market. In a precedent-setting decision, the court ultimately denied class certification.
- Represented a global financial services firm in the multi-district Credit Default Swaps Antitrust litigation pending in the Southern District of New York.
- Represented a global financial services firm in the multi-district civil litigation surrounding the leveraged-buyout of the Tribune Company.
- Represented the leading derivatives marketplace in connection with the bankruptcy and liquidation of MF Global, Inc.
- Represented a national mortgage company in a federal putative class action alleging discrimination in lender’s reverse mortgage pricing policy in violation of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, managing all aspects of the complex, class action litigation and negotiating the successful settlement of the action on behalf of the client prior to certification.
- Obtained a dismissal of all claims alleged against a national mortgage company in federal putative class action alleging fraud and wrongful foreclosure in connection with reverse mortgage lending practices.
- Represented a large hedge fund in an SEC investigation and administrative hearing relating to certain derivatives transactions executed by the fund’s investment sub-advisor.
- Assisted a large multi-national financial institution in swiftly investigating a breach involving the theft of protected personal information, and successfully guided the client in swiftly effectuating notice to its potentially impacted customers and relevant federal and state regulators.
- Successfully represented several large insurance companies in responding to non-public inquiries from state governmental agencies.
- Assisted a private equity firm in investigating a data incident involving phishing scam and deployment of malware.
Notable Women in Law, Crain's New York Business, 2020
Next Generation Lawyers, Legal 500, 2019
Recommended Lawyer - Cyber Law, Legal 500, 2019
Incident Response 30, Cybersecurity Docket, 2019
40 under 40, Global Data Review, 2018
Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group of the Year, Law360, 2018
- Insights, 10.2018
Privacy Law Blog Posts
- "Maryland Adds Insurance Commissioner to Breach Notification Requirements," September 23, 2019
- "New York SHIELD Act Expands Breach Notice Requirements Starting in October," August 27, 2019
- "Preparing for New York’s New Data Security Requirements," August 26, 2019
- "Bombas Settles with NYAG Over Credit Card Data Breach," July 11, 2019
- "SEC Issues Alert On Outsourcing and Data Security," June 11, 2019
- "New Jersey Breach Notice Law Expands To Cover Online Account Breaches," May 16, 2019
- "SEC To Focus on Cybersecurity in 2019," March 27, 2019
- "Happy First Day of Spring! Ohio Insurance Law Effective Today," March 20, 2019
- "Year In Review: Eye on Privacy 2018," January 28, 2019
- "Upcoming Canadian Breach Notification Requirements Still in Flux," September 27, 2018
- "New York Federal Court Dismisses Nationwide Class Action Arising Out of Alleged Spying by E-Commerce Retailers," September 10, 2018
- "BIPA Claims Against United Airlines Must be Arbitrated Due to Collective Bargaining Agreement," September 5, 2018
- "You Might Be an Inside Trader If: Insider Trading and Data Breaches Part II," June 21, 2018
- "You Might Be an Inside Trader If…: Insider Trading and Breaches Part I," June 20, 2018
- "NY Issues Data Breach Report," April 12, 2018
- "Oregon Updates Its Data Breach Notification Law," March 29, 2018
- "Privacy, Data Security, and Your Board: Day Five," March 2, 2018
- "Privacy, Data Security, and Your Board: Day Four," March 1, 2018
- "Privacy, Data Security, and Your Board: Day Three," February 28, 2018
- "Privacy, Data Security, and Your Board: Day Two," February 27, 2018
- "Privacy, Data Security, and Your Board: Day One," February 26, 2018
Government Contracts & Investigations Law Blog
- Commercial Dispute Resolution, 10.11.2017
- Winston & Strawn Cybersecurity Atty Joins Sheppard MullinLaw360, 10.05.2017
- "Incident Response Guide," The Sedona Conference, April 30, 2018
- "Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Hot Topics for 2018," Association of Corporate Counsel’s New York Chapter – Fashion Retail Group, March 26, 2018
- via Zoom, 04.07.2020
- You Will Participate In A Day-By-Day Week of Crisis Befalling A Retail Company, Sheppard Mullin New York, 11.19.2019
- Cybersecurity Conference, 10.11.2018
- MER Conference Program, 05.07.2018
- The Sedona Conference Webinar, 04.30.2018
- DATA SECURITY/PRIVACY ROUNDTABLE: Privacy, Cyber Security & Other Issues, and Your Board - Risk Mitigation, Vendors, M&A Concerns, and MoreAssociation of Corporate Counsel, San Diego, 02.08.2018
Kari serves on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith House, and on the Auxiliary Board for the Joffrey Ballet Company.
J.D., DePaul University, 2005, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
B.S., Butler University, 2001
- Illinois Supreme Court
- Northern District of Illinois
- New York