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The Privacy Advisor | Forsheit on her new role as firm's co-chair Related reading: Tracking the Top Ten in Privacy Legislation

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While Tanya Forsheit, CIPP/US, may be a new addition to Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz in its newly-minted Los Angeles office as co-chair of the Privacy & Data Security Group, she’s hardly a new kid on the privacy block. 

“I came out of law school in 1997, before privacy law became [a hot topic],” she said. “Privacy and data security was starting to become an area where clients were having a need to have more assistance. I was interested in it because it was opportunity to develop sort of a niche practice for which there was a growing demand.”

It allowed her to fuse her interests and background with tech, new media, and law, not only handling the legal nuts and bolts, but also crafting hearty, privacy-positive practices for the future.

“It gave me a chance to become a counsel as well as a litigator,” she said.

Her journey to FKKS had memorable stops along the way, including as president of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, founding partner of InfoLawGroup, and most recently, a partner at Baker & Hostetler.

“I wasn’t out looking for new opportunities,” she said. But the co-chair position at FKKS “was something that came to my attention, and I was super impressed with the high quality of the lawyers, and the sophistication of the work, and how well it paired with my data and privacy security practice.”

The more than 40-year reputation of excellence, especially in the “advertising, media, entertainment, and interactive entertainment space” at FKKS was also alluring for Forsheit, as well as its robust relationship with European firms. “They work hand in hand with European lawyers, which is a huge benefit as we move towards Privacy Shield and the GDPR, and they have a very strong litigation group,” she said.

And it's those trans-border data flow questions that comprise most of her current work load.

“I am fielding all kinds of … inquiries regarding data transfers, standard contractual clauses," she said. "We’re also looking ahead to Privacy Shield to see if it’s right.” Part of the challenge is crafting solutions while understanding that “every client is uniquely situated.”

She’s also a sort of renaissance woman, casually explaining how her current to-do list contains meeting with companies to develop and implement privacy programs; the near-ubiquitous call of data breach response for “incidents of all different sizes and flavors," and speaking at conferences across the globe. Like everyone else, it seems, she’s just “trying to keep on top of all the developments” that occur on planet privacy almost daily.

A busy schedule doesn’t preclude her from thinking ahead. Asked about her goals outside of her FKKS career, Forsheit laughs. What does she want?

“Oh goodness. What any practitioner in this space wants: to have a really vibrant practice where I can help clients put in place privacy and data protection programs that are not just compliant − which is challenging − but are also really designed to establish the best possible relation with their consumers and their clients,” she said.

Ultimately, with the help of teammates Greg Boyd and Jeremy Goldman, CIPP/US, she hopes to build off the FKKS’s established foundation and make it “one of the premier privacy practices in the country,” she added.  “I’m extremely excited to continue to work on that and grow that.”

Interested in keeping up with Tanya? Follow her @forsheit on Twitter. 

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