Kathleen M. Porter

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Kathleen Porter is an intellectual property and technology lawyer in the firm's Business Transactions Group and former chair of the Intellectual Property and Technology Group. Her practice straddles the areas of intellectual property, business transactions, trade regulation, and Internet law and includes import/export control issues, such as compliance and enforcement, competition, privacy, and data security.

    Her clients include precision manufacturing, life science, energy, consumer products, software, Internet and e-commerce, and other technology-driven businesses.

    Business Transactions

    She has extensive experience in structuring and negotiating sophisticated domestic and cross-border commercial transactions, including license, OEM, distribution, manufacturing, and development agreements; acquisitions; supply, distribution outsourcing, and partnering arrangements; strategic alliances; business opportunities; and joint ventures.

    Intellectual Property and Technology

    Ms. Porter counsels clients on the development, protection, and commercialization of intellectual property and technology. In particular, she has significant experience with e-commerce and Internet law issues, specifically online contracting, including click-thru and browse-wrap agreements, mobile applications, social media, online advertising, promotions, blogs, testimonials and sweepstakes, terms of use, and electronic signatures; and with online and Internet-related agreements, including website development and hosting agreements and content and other licensing arrangements.

    Trade Regulation/Competition

    Ms. Porter advises clients on competition and regulatory issues, including price restraints and discrimination, volume discounts, MAP and other pricing programs, territorial and exclusive licensing restrictions, joint buying programs and other trade association or group activities, consumer protection, promotions, and advertising. She also counsels clients on competition law compliance, including the preparation of competition law premerger filings, and coordinates the preparation of foreign competition law filings.

    International

    In addition to the cross-border transactional representation of domestic and international clients, Ms. Porter regularly advises foreign companies on their entry into the U.S. market, including corporate issues such as entity selection, structuring commercial agreements and marketing and sales issues, intellectual property protection, and day-to-day legal advice. 

    Data Security/Privacy

    She counsels businesses on the development and implementation of data security and privacy practices to comply with the patchwork of laws and rules applicable to the collection, use, safeguarding, sharing, and transfer of protected or personal data. She regularly structures arrangements with promoters, marketers, website exchanges, and other third parties for the purchase, sale, sharing, and safeguarding of personal data. Ms. Porter prepares and negotiates representations, warranties, and indemnities regarding personal or protected data and privacy and data practices. She also assists clients with privacy audits and works with third-party certification organizations to obtain certification of companies' privacy practices. She guides clients through internal investigations to assess and address notice and other obligations regarding privacy breaches. Ms. Porter often works closely with our litigation attorneys to manage external investigations such as those by federal or state regulators.

    Additionally, Ms. Porter is active in trade and privacy-focused professional organizations and attends professional, FTC, and state AG-sponsored workshops and programs to keep apprised of trade and privacy initiatives, trends, and legislative agendas as well as behavioral and dynamic marketing and emerging uses of personal data.

    A regular speaker and author on data privacy and technology issues in commercial transactions, Ms. Porter is a regular panelist at the Annual PLI Privacy Data Security Conference (Chicago 2013, 2014, 2015). She also speaks each year at the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Program (MCLE) on Fundamentals of Data Security Law. Over the last several years, she has also spoken and authored articles on the use of mobile devices in the workplace (BYOD), including for the American Bar Association's Business Section, the International Legal Technology Association, and Network World. Ms. Porter is an editor and contributing author of e-counsel: The Executive's Legal Guide to Electronic Commerce, published by Robinson+Cole and is also a regular contributor to the firm's Data Privacy + Security Insider blog.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Served as U.S. counsel to one of the leading global suppliers of electronics for recreational boats, including commercial, M&A, litigation, employment, and intellectual property matters.
      • Served as counsel to an environmental technology company, a subsidiary of a NYSE company, that specializes in remote monitoring of underground storage tank systems to provide environmental compliance, fuel inventory, and logistic services. Represented subsidiary in the development of standard terms and conditions for service; the negotiation of service agreements with major oil companies and independent station owners; the negotiation and implementation of a strategic alliance agreement with a major petroleum industry B2B exchange; the development and implementation of several online and offline marketing initiatives; and the development of click-wrap agreements for the manufacturer's website for the sale of equipment and services.
      • Represented publicly traded paperboard company in numerous acquisitions in the U.S. and Canada.
      • Advice regarding and completion of Hart-Scott-Rodino filings in connection with the acquisitions and sales of companies; coordinate completion of foreign pre-merger filings.
      • Representation of NYSE-listed company in subpoena response to New York State attorney general industry-wide investigation of highly regulated industry.
      • Representation of a venture-backed emerging producer and investor in the developing biofuels sector in the acquisition of a Texas-based operating biodiesel plant with a production capacity of 12 million gallons per year.
      • Representation of a German corporation and its US subsidiary, in its first direct move into North American force measurement sector, in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Midwest developer and manufacturer of electro-mechanical transducers.
      • Structured and counseled manufacturers and distributors in various minimum advertised price policy programs, co-op advertising, and resale price maintenance programs.
      • Counseled several national trade associations on antitrust compliance.
      • Representation of public and private companies in continued matters, before several Northeast state attorneys general, related to Robinson Patman, consumer protection, and trade regulations matters.
      • Conducted internal compliance audits and investigations for major public and privately held food service, energy, chemical, manufacturing, and Internet-service companies.
      • Representation of UK-based energy company in acquisition of company that owns petroleum exploration rights in Asia. Purchase price exceeds $100 million.
      • Advised Inoflate, a consumer product packaging manufacturer, regarding licensing, sale, and manufacture of soft drink bottle fill and capping technology.
      • Advised a defense contractor specializing in erosion protection technologies about licensing patents and technology for epoxy resin coatings for helicopter blades for the U.S. government and private vendors.
      • Representation of a publicly traded mid-Atlantic-based energy company on commercial and contract matters, including branding of products and services, intellectual property licensing, and commercial and consumer agreements. Collaborate with the client’s sales and marketing team to structure, develop, and implement standard form consumer customer contracts. Prepare and negotiate agreements for strategic alliances, referrals, and other partnering agreements, which include provisions relating to intellectual property, data privacy, and security, as well as limitation of liability, indemnification, and waivers. Develop provisions that protect the company and can be implemented and negotiated by the sales team without significant negotiations.
      • Advice regarding compliance with trade regulations, including Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), as well as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-boycotting rules. Advice includes classification counseling, I-129 certifications for immigration, compliance programs and training, as well as due diligence in transactions, contract manufacturing, and strategic alliances.
      • Advice regarding compliance with California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, including advising suppliers and outsourced providers on negotiation of certifications to retailers.
      • Counseled major food producer regarding tax treatment of public warehouse space for apportionment purposes.
      • Represented owner of a 46-acre municipal solid waste landfill required to close landfill, construct cap, install landfill gas collection and treatment system, perform groundwater zone of influence study, prepare wetlands mitigation program, and obtain all related air, water, solid waste, and wetlands permits and approvals.

      • Representation of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) companies engaged in manufacturing and distribution in the fields of specialty chemicals, rubber, and plastics; home heating oil and bottled gas; and telecommunications equipment and energy systems.
      • Represented a NYSE company in the formation of a NAFTA joint venture with a German chemical company for the development of chemical compounds and biologicals, including structuring licensing arrangements for the use, disclosure and practice of technology contributed to and developed by the joint venture and its members.
      • Represented a NYSE company in all intellectual property aspects of the sale of its global textile colors business and European industrial colors business to U.K. public company, including numerous licensing arrangements.
      • Counseled Nasdaq-listed battery technology company in connection with a series of joint ventures in China and Taiwan for the development and manufacturing of battery technology and components.
      • Serving as U.S. counsel for U.K. company in marketing software platform of online educational learning to U.S. market.
      • Representation of outsourced provider in negotiation of software platform license, with bundled specialized corporate and accounting services, to fund management company, including negotiation of supplemental agreement on safeguarding personal data in a manner that complies with US law/EU Privacy Directive.

      • Represented a leading international cruise line in negotiation of co-branded credit card program relationship, including associated privacy, data security and other matters.

      • back to top
    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association
      Business Law Section, Past Co-chair of Cyberspace Law Committee, E-Commerce Subcommittee, Past Membership Chair of Electronic Contracting Practices Working Group
      Business Law Section, Intellectual Property Committee

      International Association of Privacy Professionals (2010 - present)

      CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution
      Advisory Board on Privacy (2003)

      Licensing Executives Society

      American Bar Association
      Section of Antitrust Law (2002 - present)

      Women's Competition Network (2010 - present)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© as Boston Lawyer of the Year in the area of Information Technology Law for 2013

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Information Technology Law since 2009

      Certified Information Privacy Professional/US (CIPP/US) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled
      Board of Directors

      Transactional LawMeet
      New England Regional Competition Judge
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Privacy and Security in Mergers and Acquisitions," published in Data Security and Privacy in Massachusetts (2015)
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      "Customer-Friendly Privacy Practices," published in Contact Center Pipeline, interviewed about safeguarding and managing customer information (01/08/2015)
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      "Green Guidance for Retailers: Avoiding FTC Claims of Unfair or Deceptive Marketing," published in Retail Law Strategist, co-authored with Brian W. Blaesser (March 2013)
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      "Going Mobile: Are Your Company's Electronic Communications Policies Ready to Travel?" published in Business Law Today, a publication of the American Bar Association; the article explains how employers can incorporate employee use of mobile communication devices into their employee electronic communications or Internet usage policies, along with an updated analysis of how some courts have treated employer efforts to access data stored, or created, on employee-owned devices. (December 2011)

      "Going Mobile: Are Your Company's Electronic Communications Policies Ready to Travel?" published in Business Law Today, a publication of the American Bar Association (01/01/2011)

      "The Legal Risks of Data Loss in the United States," co-authored with BeCrypt, Inc. (01/01/2009)
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      "Antitrust Do's & Don'ts for Home Heating Oil Dealers," published in Massachusetts Oilheat Council Newsletter (6/2008)

      "Work Station or Purgatory?" published in ABA Business Law Today, co-authored with Jacqueline Pennino Scheib and David B. Wilson (July/August 2002)

      "The Collection and Mining of Personal Data: An Evolving Story," published in United States Law Firm Group Newsletter (10/01/2001)

      "Creating Electronic Contracts," published in e-counsel: The Executive's Legal Guide to Electronic Commerce (2000)

      "Browse-Wrap Agreements: Validity of Implied Assent in Electronic Form Agreements," published in Business Lawyer, co-authored

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Student Speech on Social Media: From Cyberbullying to Campus Protests," co-presented with Kathleen E. Dion, at the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUM) Fall Symposium 2017 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts (10/6/2017)
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      "Who is Regulating the Internet of Things (IoT)?" at the State Capital Group (SCG) Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado (9/7/2017)
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      "Managing Privacy and Cybersecurity Risk in Business Deals," during the Chicago session of the Eighteenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law. (6/13/2017)
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      "Cybersecurity for Medical Devices," panel presentation co-sponsored by Robinson+Cole, the Biomedical Engineering Alliance and Consortium (BEACON), and Court Square Group (CSG). (6/1/2017)
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      "Cybersecurity and Privacy in Deals: Managing Cyber Risk in M&A, Outsourcing, Cloud and other Commercial Deals," at Practising Law Institute's (PLI) Seventeenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law in Chicago, co-presented with Rebecca Eisner of Mayer Brown LLP (7/12/2016)
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      "Exhaustion of IP Rights from an International Perspective," at the American Bar Association's Business Law Section Spring Meeting in Montreal (4/9/2016)
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      "Local Women of Influence Awards," presented at 2015 WomenUp: Local Women of Influence Celebration breakfast in Boston (12/8/2015)
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      "Cybersecurity and Privacy in Deals: Managing Cyber Risk in M&A, Outsourcing, Cloud and other Commercial Deals," co-presented with Rebecca Eisner of Mayer Brown LLP, at the Practising Law Institute's (PLI) Sixteenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law in Chicago (7/14/2015)
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      "Privacy, Data Security, and Cyber Security Law: Understanding the Issues and Creating a Career Path," presented at a KnowledgeNet program sponsored by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP); hosted by the Western New England University School of Law and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (02/03/2015)
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      "Local Women of Influence Awards," co-presented with Carla M. Moynihan, participated in the WomenUp – Local Women of Influence awards breakfast in Boston (12/11/2014)
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      "Small Business, Big Breach: Keeping SMBs Safe, Not Sorry," at 2014 Privacy XChange Forum in Scottsdale, Arizona, co-presented with Al Pascual, senior analyst of Security, Risk, and Fraud at Javelin Strategy & Research; Barbara Lawler, chief privacy officer of Intuit; Kelly Jackson Higgins, senior editor at Dark Reading; and Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos. (11/3/2014)
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      "Best Practices for Privacy and Security: Protecting Valuable Information and Avoiding Liability," sponsored by the MIT Enterprise Forum of Connecticut (5/7/2014)
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      "Fundamentals of Data Security Law," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education program, discussed the Massachusetts data breach notification law (M.G.L. c. 93H) and security regulation (201 CMR 17.00), as well as security issues with mobile devices in the workplace (6/20/2013)

      "iPads at the Firewall: Should You Permit Employee Devices into Your Network?" at American Bar Association's Business Law Section Spring Meeting (4/5/2013)

      "Legal Issues with Mobile Devices in the Workplace," at Network World's BYOD and Mobile Device Management Tech Seminar (6/26/2012)

      "Fundamentals of Data Security Law," at MCLE Program (June 2012)

      "How to Export Your Medical Device to Europe," at "Europe: Your Gateway to Trade Opportunities” at Yale University, panelist (5/7/2012)

      "Mobile Device Policies in Law Firms," presented to the International Legal Technology Association, webinar (04/12/2012)

      "How to Prepare for and Present Business Opportunities to U.S. Investors," presented to CleanTech North entrepreneurs (4/4/2012)

      "Mobile Device Policies in the Workplace," at American Bar Association Business Section Spring Meeting (03/23/2012)

      "Online Contracts, Screen Scraping, and Database Practices: Re-evaluating Online Terms of Use in Litigation and under Important New Case Law," at American Bar Association's Business Law Section Spring Meeting (4/2011)

      Speaker at, and co-organizer of, event for delegation of life science and renewable energy companies (11/2009), Massachusetts Office of Trade and Investment

      "Trends in Executive Compensation," at the Boston Chapter of the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruiters (IACPR) (2/27/2002)

      "Electronic Contracts and E-Sign," at 34th Annual Uniform Commercial Code Institute 2000 – 2001 (3/2001)
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      "Litigating in the New Economy: The Clash between Law and Technology," at American Bar Association's Annual Meeting (2001)
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      "Marketing Products on the Internet: Managing Risks, Limiting Liabilities, and Litigating Disputes in the World of E-Commerce," at American Bar Association's National Institute Program, New York and Chicago (Fall 2000)
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      Speaker at International Business Breakfast (5/2010) presented by HSBC and the Fairfield County Business Journal; sponsored by the World Affairs Forum

      "Data Protection and Privacy - 40 Tips in 90 Minutes," at American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Business Law Section's Committee on International Business Law

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • December 13, 2017

        Boston Office Hosts Holiday Raffle in Support of Hurricane Relief Effort in Puerto Rico

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      • October 13, 2017

        Kathleen Porter and Kate Dion Address Student Speech and Social Media at AICUM Symposium

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      • September 28, 2017

        Kathleen Porter Speaks on IoT Regulation from Manufacturer's Perspective at SCG Annual Meeting

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      • June 15, 2017

        Kathleen Porter Speaks on Managing Privacy and Cybersecurity Risk in Business Deals

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      • June 7, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Sponsors Panel Discussion on Cybersecurity for Medical Devices

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      • July 15, 2016

        Kathleen Porter Serves as Panelist at PLI

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      • July 11, 2016

        Kathleen Porter Serves as Panelist on Data Security Webcast

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      • May 11, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Women Lawyers Listed in Best Lawyers Spring Business Edition

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      • April 22, 2016

        Kathleen Porter Presents on International Panel at ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting

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      • December 23, 2015

        Kathleen Porter Authors Chapter in Data Security and Privacy in Massachusetts

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      • December 18, 2015

        Boston Lawyers Participate in 2015 WomenUp Event

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      • July 23, 2015

        Kathleen Porter Speaks at PLI's Sixteenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law

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      • July 6, 2015

        Kathleen Porter Featured in WNE Law School Alumni Magazine

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      • February 11, 2015

        Kathleen Porter Chairs, Speaks at IAPP Privacy, Data Security, and CyberSecurity Law Program

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      • January 14, 2015

        Kathleen Porter Interviewed on Data Security for Contact Center Pipeline

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      • December 19, 2014

        Boston Lawyers Address WomenUp Event

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      • November 25, 2014

        Kathleen Porter Presents at National Privacy XChange Forum

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      • June 4, 2014

        Kathy Porter Recognized at 'Boston Strong' BBA Dinner

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      • May 27, 2014

        Boston Lawyer Speaks at MIT Enterprise Forum of Connecticut

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      • April 23, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Women Attend Summit at Bryant University

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      • March 19, 2014

        Boston Lawyer Judges Transactional LawMeet Northeast Competition

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      • November 15, 2013

        Kathleen Porter Recognized by Best Lawyers as Boston IT Lawyer of the Year for 2013

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      • September 9, 2013

        Kathleen Porter Speaks at PLI's Fourteenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law

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      • June 28, 2013

        Kathleen Porter Speaks at MCLE Data Security Program

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      • May 7, 2013

        Boston Lawyer Speaks at the ABA's Business Law Section Spring Meeting

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      • March 22, 2013

        Attorneys Co-Author Article on How to Avoid Liability for "Greenwashing"

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      • March 19, 2013

        Boston Lawyers Present to Software Companies in Ontario

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      • July 20, 2012

        Kathleen Porter Talks to IT Managers about Mobile Devices at Network World BYOD Conference

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      • June 6, 2012

        Intellectual Property and Technology Partner Discusses Exporting Medical Devices to Europe at Yale

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      • May 8, 2012

        Kathleen Porter Presents Two Programs on Mobile Device Policies in the Workplace

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      • April 20, 2012

        Business Transactions Partners Present to Canadian CleanTech CEOs

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      • March 16, 2012

        Kathleen Porter, Business & IP Partner, Moderates Social Media and Mobile Device Program

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      • January 10, 2012

        Is Your Mobile Device Communications Policy Up-to-Date?

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      • December 12, 2011

        Partners Judge Transactional Negotiation Meet at Boston University

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      • October 19, 2011

        Kathleen Porter Featured in Law360 Q&A

      • June 7, 2011

        “Competition for Capital in the Private Markets – What LP Investors Want in 2011” – A Signature Series Event at Robinson & Cole

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      • February 24, 2011

        Partner Kathleen Porter, CIPP, Presents Two Webinars on Privacy and Legal Issues for Business with Global Business & Legal Seminars

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      • June 2, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney a Featured Speaker at Global Business Summit

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      • April 23, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Addresses Association of Corporate Counsel Chapter on Doing Business on the Internet

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      • April 16, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Featured Speaker on Massachusetts Security Regulation

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      • February 8, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Present on Architectural Copyright Law

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      • June 16, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Author Whitepaper on the Legal Risks of Data Loss in the U.S.

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      • July 30, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Intellectual Property Partner Wrote Article on "'Do's' and 'Don'ts' for Home Heating Oil Dealers"

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • February 1, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Forms Sustainability Cross-Practice Team

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      • August 18, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

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      • August 19, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • September 14, 2012

        Ten Robinson & Cole Attorneys Selected as “Lawyers of the Year”

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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      • September 12, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in Best Lawyers National Peer Review Survey

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        • View article
    • Newsletters

      Newsletters

      Data Privacy + Security Insider, co-authored with Linn F. Freedman, Jean E. Tomasco, Nuala E. Droney and Kathryn M. Rattigan (04/23/2015)

      Data Privacy + Security Insider, co-authored with Kathryn M. Rattigan and Linn F. Freedman (04/09/2015)

      Data Privacy + Security Insider, co-authored with Linn F. Freedman, Kathryn M. Rattigan and Robert A. Barbieri (03/26/2015)