CHICAGO — March 9, 2015 — Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm serving clients across the Americas, bolstered its national Litigation Practice Group with the addition of information governance lawyer Jeffrey Sharer, a recognized authority on the legal, technology and policy implications of digital information. Sharer arrives from Sidley Austin LLP to Akerman as a partner in the Chicago office. The Chicago office has welcomed 20 lateral hires in less than 12 months, making Akerman one of the four fastest-growing law firms in the region.

"We continue to build a formidable team experienced in the complex realm of big data to service our clients in all aspects of information governance, e-discovery, data privacy and protection," said Lawrence Rochefort, chair of Akerman's Litigation Practice Group. "Jeffrey is an accomplished litigator who knows the totality of the information lifecycle and has seen where companies are the most vulnerable. He brings a breadth of experience in the legal, regulatory and compliance aspects of information governance and has designed innovative solutions tailored to client needs."

Sharer concentrates his practice in the increasingly business-critical area of information law. His practice encompasses information governance, electronic discovery, and privacy and data protection. He advises and advocates for clients at all stages of the discovery lifecycle, from preservation through production, in litigation and regulatory matters, and internal and governmental investigations. He has extensive experience with design, implementation, negotiation and litigation of e-discovery best practices. Sharer is at the forefront of using predictive coding and other analytic technologies in discovery to help clients save time and costs, and improve defensibility of process.

Sharer also helps clients mitigate risk, reduce cost and create business value outside the dispute context through sound, end-to-end governance of enterprise data. His deep understanding of both law and technology helps clients proactively meet the legal, compliance and other challenges associated with the "digital deluge." Sharer advises clients on the development and implementation of records retention policies and schedules, litigation preparedness and discovery strategy, defensible disposition of email and other electronic and hard copy information, and "e-policies" such as "bring your own device," social media, information classification and data privacy. He represents clients across a broad range of industries, including insurance, telecommunications, retail, financial services, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, consumer products, professional services and energy.

"Akerman's commitment to innovation and to leveraging new technologies to advance the present and future business needs of clients is unparalleled," said Sharer. "Akerman's forward thinking, nimble approach and national infrastructure provide an ideal platform for expanding my practice and enhancing my ability to help clients navigate the regulatory challenges and risks associated with the digital age." 

Sharer will work closely with other lawyers and professionals across the firm's national platform, who are experienced in the field of e-discovery and information management. The depth of Akerman's experience is a reflection of the evolving needs of clients to navigate ever-growing sets of complex data in a heightened regulatory environment and amid an increasing number of data breaches.

The American Lawyer ranked Akerman as the top-gaining law firm in the United States for lateral partner hires, based on its 14.2 percent increase of total partnership during the 2014 fiscal year. According to the publication's 2015 Lateral Report, Akerman saw explosive growth in Chicago, Florida, New York and Washington, D.C., and in the real estate and financial services sectors.

About Akerman LLP

Akerman LLP is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 600 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 20 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The National Law Journal NLJ 350 (2014). Akerman also is ranked among the top 50 law firms for diversity in The American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard (2014).

Akerman's Litigation Practice Group is recognized nationally by U.S. News - Best Lawyers in the Commercial Litigation and in the Appellate categories. The firm's team has vast experience in a wide range of civil and criminal litigation, including actions involving banking, securities, healthcare, insurance, real estate and construction.

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