Hillard M. Sterling

Partner at Winget, Spadafora & Schwartzberg, LLP

HILLARD M. STERLING is Managing Partner of Winget, Spadafora & Schwartzberg, LLP's Chicago office. Mr. Sterling's practice focuses on technology and cyber disputes and issues, bringing 25 years of experience in the entire range of technology cases, such as disputes related to systems implementation, software development and licensing, and IT intellectual property. Mr. Sterling also regularly represents a broad array of professionals in litigation, including attorneys, architects & engineers, accountants, agents and brokers, and real-estate professionals, among others, as well as directors & officers in a variety of business disputes.  Mr. Sterling counsels clients on developing and implementing best practices before, during, and after data breaches and incidents. Since strong preventive measures are central to reducing exposure and damages, Mr. Sterling works with clients to: (1) develop or improve policies, incident-response plans, and data-governance plans; (2) develop or improve employee training procedures and techniques; (3) develop or improve table-top exercises; and (4) comply with governing law and stay current with the latest cyber-law developments. The underlying objective of all of these measures is to help clients establish a cyber-security corporate culture.  Mr. Sterling also represents clients in defending against national class-action lawsuits based on alleged disclosures of information allegedly protected by federal and state statutes. These cases typically are the subject of dispositive motion practice based on standing and other grounds, and Mr. Sterling is versed - and speaks frequently before various audiences - on the developing jurisprudence under which these cases may be resolved successfully and expeditiously.  In addition, Mr. Sterling assists insureds and other clients as a "breach coach" to coordinate and quarterback responses to data breaches or incidents. In this role, Mr. Sterling helps guide and manage the many responsive tasks, including analyzing the nature and scope of the breach or incident, assessing the legal implications and developing and implementing strategies based on those implications, implementing incident-response plans, and communicating internally and externally with the many pertinent constituencies, all while utilizing and maximizing the confidentiality protections of the attorney-client communication privilege where feasible.  Mr. Sterling's practice encompasses many other types of commercial matters, including shareholder and partner disputes, intellectual property, employment, securities, antitrust, the False Claims Act, and products liability.  Mr. Sterling has served as an expert commentator in print and broadcast media, and regularly speaks and presents, on various technology topics.  Mr. Sterling received his J.D. in 1989, magna cum laude, and Order of the Coif, from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Executive Editor of its flagship law review, the Georgetown Law Journal. Mr. Sterling is a 1986 graduate of Northern Illinois University, where he received his B.A.,summa cum laude.  Mr. Sterling is admitted to practice law in Illinois and Washington, D.C., and various federal courts including the trial bar of the Northern District of Illinois.