Shook Enhances Business Litigation Team to Defend Biometric Lawsuits and Complex Disputes

Shook, Hardy & Bacon welcomes new Partner Melissa Siebert and Of Counsel Erin Bolan Hines to the firm’s business litigation, employment and privacy and data security practices, where they will continue to defend manufacturers, retailers and employers against class actions alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Siebert and Hines will provide Shook’s health, science and technology clients with 360-degree counseling. Specifically, Siebert focuses on BIPA matters, complex employment litigation and counseling, while Hines provides strategic guidance in complex commercial disputes, BIPA lawsuits and data privacy issues.

“We have worked with Shook for many years on creative challenges to these BIPA lawsuits,” said Siebert, who has built her practice around previous roles as in-house counsel and director of human resources for multiple organizations. “Shook has built a reputation for resolving industry-wide problems. This move presents a unique opportunity to consolidate our collective experience and chart a clear path forward for in-house counsel balancing the demands of consumers, shareholders and employees.”  

Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough highlighted the pair’s business acumen. “Melissa and Erin are both seasoned trial attorneys with a deep knowledge of our clients’ core industries. They have honed their litigation strategy both in contentious disputes and in boardrooms and the media.”

Siebert and Hines have handled more than 20 BIPA matters in Illinois state and federal courts since 2017. Siebert also counsels clients on class and collective action litigation, representing employers involved in significant EEOC “pattern and practice” investigations/lawsuits, and putative class/collective actions under the FLSA, the FCRA and state laws. Hines has represented banks and private equity firms as well as manufacturers, technology providers and construction companies in breach of contract, complex commercial and trade secret disputes. The pair will be joining Shook’s business litigation practice, led by Partners Gary Miller and Michael Cargnel, and will collaborate closely with Shook’s Privacy and Data Security Practice Chair Al Saikali.

“We are excited to welcome Melissa and Erin to Shook’s deep bench of biometric privacy litigators and counselors,” said Saikali. “With the addition of their experience, our combined practice has managed more than two dozen of the 150-plus BIPA class actions that have been filed to date and more than any other defense firm in the country.”

Siebert and Hines were also attracted to Shook’s demonstrated commitment to diverse leaders and litigators throughout the firm’s ranks, with women comprising five of the firm’s 11 executive committee members and 45 percent of firm leadership roles. Hines elaborated, “In-house counsel continue to express a need for outside legal teams that reflect their organizational perspectives and values. Shook has created an inclusive culture dedicated to launching the next generation of top-tier lawyers, and we are excited to help shepherd those opportunities along.” 

Shook Managing Partner Lynn Murray and Administrative Managing Partner Amy Cho co-lead the Chicago office of Shook.

“With the addition of Melissa and Erin, Shook continues to invest in serving both the Chicago business community and the firm’s national clients,” said Murray. “Both of them are deeply respected, resourceful and tenacious litigators with extensive knowledge on cutting-edge legal issues. We are thrilled they have selected Shook for the next phase of their careers.”  

Siebert earned her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. Hines graduated with her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law.