Attorneys launch Beckage PLLC to focus on technology, cybersecurity, privacy and business growth

BUFFALO, N.Y.Sept. 7, 2018  — Technology is changing the way businesses operate, and now legal innovator Beckage PLLC is changing the way lawyers help businesses grow and operate in the information age.

Seizing an opportunity to help clients to minimize risks and maximize opportunities associated with cybersecurity, data protection, information technology, privacy law, and litigation, Jennifer A. Beckage has assembled a team of privacy professionals and legal technologists with widespread real-world, hands-on experience to form a new law firm, Beckage PLLC.

Beckage attorneys include Julie A. BastianKara L. HilburgerMyriah V. Jaworski and Andrea C. Kuettel.  Beckage, Jaworski, and Hilburger are all Certified Information Privacy Professionals (CIPP/US), as certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), qualified to provide privacy advice to clients in a landscape of constantly changing privacy regulations.

The Beckage team has extensive experience representing clients in technology-related disputes and matters, including those concerning cyber attacks, data breaches, privacy laws, websites, domain names, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, computer forensics, disruptive technologies, and social media.  Its attorneys include former federal regulators, in-house counsels of international companies, technology entrepreneurs, business owners, and public-company executives.

“We recognized the opportunity to serve a growing number of enterprises addressing ‘bet-the-company’ challenges and opportunities with our team’s unique combination of experience as attorneys, technologists and entrepreneurs, as well as our ability to leverage digital tools and a business model that enables us to provide a level of responsiveness and flexibility that is already resonating with the organizations we serve,” explained Ms. Beckage.

“Issues of privacy are rapidly changing the business world, with laws changing on an almost daily basis.  Because of that, many companies realize that their lawyers need to change, too,” Ms. Jaworski added.  “It’s not enough to just understand the law anymore; lawyers need to bring a technical competence to the table to most effectively serve their clients.”

The law firm has established offices in Buffalo’s Liberty Building at 420 Main Street and at 2 Columbus Circle in New York City.  Its attorneys include:

  • Jennifer A. Beckage, Esq., CIPP/US, was honored in 2018 after “nominations, input from numerous senior lawyers in the field, and considerable research” as one of “the 30 best and brightest data breach response lawyers” in the country by Cybersecurity Docket, in recognition of her representation of clients in some of the most significant data breach responses in the U.S. She has a significant data breach and privacy law experience, including representing clients in complex litigation and government investigations. Leveraging practical experience and her CIPP/US certification, she advises clients on privacy laws, including GDPR. She was also recently named by Buffalo Business First as one of its 25 Women of Influence for 2018. Prior to recognizing a need for a tech-focused firm and founding Beckage, Jennifer was a partner and the data security and privacy team leader for a Buffalo-based law firm with nearly 200 attorneys and offices in eight cities. Before becoming an attorney, Jennifer was an owner and executive of a fast-growing technology business using disruptive technologies. She helped lead its sale to a publicly traded company, which retained her as vice president of operations, overseeing technical services and product lines, and serving Fortune 500 clients across 11 states.
  • Julie Bastian, Esq., advises clients on employment and business strategy matters in highly charged, hyper-competitive national and international markets. Prior to joining Beckage, Ms. Bastian served as in-house counsel for a large, global workforce solutions and business services company. She has years of client-side experience developing hands-on technology strategies to foster growth, including evaluating vendor agreements, technology use, data security, and privacy matters. She also helps clients to successfully resolve whistleblower and internal complaints. She uses her practical, real-world experience in advising on data security and privacy matters, particularly as to how it impacts corporate operations and workforces.
  • Kara L. Hilburger Esq., CIPP/US, counsels corporate clients on employment and labor matters, including those touching upon technology and privacy. Ms. Hilburger works with stakeholders to provide innovative and thoughtful advice and support in such areas as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, social media, and technology-use issues, contract preparation and review, workplace privacy concerns, and employee discipline matters. She has represented clients before administrative agencies, litigated state and federal employment matters and has extensive experience assisting clients with reviewing and negotiating contract provisions. She has developed and conducted training programs for clients on social media use, sexual harassment, and conflict resolution in the workplace. She also assists with a variety of corporate needs, including licensing, women-owned business matters and facilitation of positive labor relations.
  • Myriah V. Jaworski, Esq., CIPP/US, represents clients in a wide range of government investigations and enforcement actions concerning data breaches, occupational health and safety accidents, environmental incidents and anti-corruption matters. Earlier in her career, Ms. Jaworski was the senior attorney with a large regional law firm and a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). She has conducted numerous internal investigations and compliance audits of client operations, including reviews of compliance program and risk management protocols, to identify and prevent violations of privacy, environmental and occupational health and safety laws. She has developed and managed crisis response teams, from preparation to response and mitigation, interacting with government, media, and legal professionals. She also was a founder of a successful business, which provides a unique perspective to clients on corporate formation, finance and investment structures, brand protection, social media policies, employee relations and sustainable business growth.
  • Andrea C. Kuettel Esq., of counsel, represents clients in the healthcare industry, including medical providers, insurance companies and other covered entities under HIPAA and HITECH. She interfaces with regulators, including serving as the main client contact for federal reporting to Health and Human Services, HHS’s Office of Civil Rights, and the New York State Comptroller. At Beckage, Andrea oversees internal audits of client operations to help ensure compliance with patient privacy laws, including with HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules and manages client contracts with business associates and third-party vendors. She also develops healthcare contracts for clinical trials, technology transfer, employment and procurement of products and services. Prior to joining Beckage, Andrea was in-house counsel at a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center where she oversaw all compliance issues for privacy and IT security, including supervising in-house privacy and IT security professionals to ensure the security of administration systems.

James Gerland consults as the firm’s Information Technology Strategist, helping to deploy the legal strategies developed by the Beckage team.  James, a 30-year IT veteran and successful tech entrepreneur, has served in and led corporate and university IT departments, and consulted with clients in healthcare, banking, and other industries.  He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Computing and Information Systems Department at Buffalo State College and at the University at Buffalo’s Millard Fillmore College.

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