Liisa M. Thomas

Partner
Winston & Strawn LLP

LIISA THOMAS, a Partner based in the Chicago office of Winston & Strawn LLP, is the chair of the firm’s global privacy and data security practice. Her clients rely on her ability to create clarity in a sea of confusing legal requirements and describe her as “extremely responsive, while providing thoughtful legal analysis combined with real world practical advice,” and as someone who “always consider[s the client’s] business environment.” 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 United States. 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, and counseling on children’s advertising and privacy issues. Ms. Thomas has been recognized by the Leading Lawyers Network, Chambers, and Legal 500, and was recently recognized for her leadership in the legal field by the Illinois Diversity Council (awarding her a Multicultural Leadership Award). In 2014, Ms. Thomas was named by CorporateLiveWire as the Illinois Advertising Lawyer of the Year and as one of 15 practitioners nationwide in the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Annual List of Rainmakers. Ms. Thomas is often quoted by the press and has spoken and written extensively on cutting-edge privacy law matters, including authoring the top-selling 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 a lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School, and serves on the adjunct faculty at DePaul University Law School and the John Marshall Law School Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law. Ms. Thomas is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee, the immediate past president of the board of Illinois Legal Aid Online, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 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 and plays violin in the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra made up of lawyers and judges.