Blair Dawson, CIPP/US, CIPP/E, CIPM
Blair brings decades of insurance coverage and claims knowledge in addition to in-house and corporate experience in the financial and insurance industries and a background in responding to data security incidents to McDonald Hopkins' Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group.
She is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as an accredited Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US), Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E) and Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), and has spent more than 20 years as an attorney in Chicago, including two years as General Counsel and Senior Vice President in Insurance Management for Acrisure, LLC – one of the largest international insurance brokers in the world. While there, she developed and oversaw the company’s complex insurance program, implementing cyber incident response policies and protocols, overseeing risk management, engaging in insurance program negotiations, managing litigated and non-litigated claims, providing client training to mitigate risk, and resolving insurance coverage disputes.
Blair's practice includes extensive experience responding to data security incidents while ensuring her clients remain compliant with state, federal and international requirements, as well as managing operational and reputational impact. She has managed numerous international claims, coordinating with her clients’ general counsel, and regularly provides coverage and monitoring of litigation and pre-litigation matters and insurance general and professional liability claims. Blair also develops and provides oversight for complex insurance programs, implementing cyber incident response policies and protocols, overseeing risk management, engaging in insurance program negotiations, retaining and overseeing outside counsel, providing client training to mitigate risk, and resolving insurance coverage disputes.
Blair’s experience includes representing private companies and public entities whose operations have been affected by ransomware attacks or impacted by a business email compromise. She works with clients and third-parties, including forensic investigators, law enforcement and ransomware negotiators to identify and contain the incident, minimize disruption to business operations, deliver effective public communications, minimize exposure to possible litigation and regulatory investigations, and avoid further attacks.
Blair also consults with clients on compliance issues, utilizing knowledge of U.S. and international privacy laws, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
After earning her B.A. from Marquette University, Blair completed her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is currently working towards an M.S. in Cybersecurity from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater with a completion date estimated in the Fall 2023.
Admissions - Court
- Illinois State Court
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Admissions - State
- Chicago-Kent College of Law
- University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
- Marquette University
- Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS)
- International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
- Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
- Golden Key International Honour Society
Public Service and Volunteerism
- Wrightwood Neighbors Association, Member & Volunteer
- Crooked Lake Improvement Committee, Board Member (2017-2021)
- Izaak Walton League of America, Volunteer Water Chloride Monitoring (2020-2021)
- EPA Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, Volunteer Lake Quality Monitor (2017-2021)
- East Shore Homeowners Association, President (2020-2021)
- CLOA Improvement Committee, Community Volunteer (2017-2019)
- Beach Improvement Committee for Crooked Lake, Committee Member (2017-2019)
- Travelers Assistance Project – O’Hare Airport, Volunteer Attorney (2017)
- Chicago Parks Foundation – Team ChiParks for Chicago Marathon, Marathoner & Fundraiser for Charity (2016)
- Windy City Agility Club, Secretary (2011)
- Paulina Condominium Association, Secretary (2004-2005)
- Society of Women in Law, Volunteer Opportunities Coordinator (2000-2001) and President (2001-2002)
- Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US)
- Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E)
- Certified Informaiton Privacy Manager (CIPM)
- The Anatomy of a Data Breach: What you need to know to be prepared | Wednesday, November 16, 2022
- Managing Cybersecurity Liability and Risk | Thursday, July 21, 2022
- WiCyS Leadership Team, Guest Speaker, "Cybersecurity Panel Discussion"
- The Knowledge Group, Presenter, "Effective Data Breach Prevention and Response: Practical Tips and Strategies"
- Oswald Companies, Guest Speaker, "Event + Response = Outcome: how you should respond when your network is compromised"
- The Keypoint, Guest Interview, "Steps Every Organization Should Take if it Suspects a Cyberattack"
- Level Up Podcast, Guest, “Level Up your Cybersecurity Legal Power"
- TigerPaw Radio, Featured Guest, “Attacked! Cyber Law Primer for MSPs and IT Providers.”
- Level Up, Guest Speaker, "Level Up Your Cyber Security"
- T100 Power Hour, Guest Speaker, “Cybersecurity and Reportable Incidents”
- CompTIA ChannelCon Chicago 2022, Panelist, “I’ve Been Compromised! Now What?”
- CompTIA ChannelCon Chicago 2022, Panelist, “Genius Café”