By James Griffith
One afternoon this past spring, I received a call out of the blue from my long-time friend Heidi Yernberg Echols. Heidi and I had met during the first week of law school at the University of Chicago, and we became quick friends. Over time, our families became very close, with our kids developing relationships of their own. Professionally, I recruited Heidi when we were young, second-year lawyers to join me at McDermott, Will & Emery where we both developed successful practices in our respective areas and eventually became partners together. My practice area centered on intellectual property, especially trademark, copyright, and licensing, and Heidi’s practice area was in privacy, IT, and health care. While there was not a lot of overlap, there was enough so that sometimes we would find occasion to work together, which was always a genuine treat. Eventually, our professional paths diverged, but personally we remained great friends.
The reason for Heidi’s call on that spring day was a proposal. How would I like to go into business together? After leaving McDermott and devoting several years to being a stay-at-home mom, Heidi had successfully built her own solo practice. Knowing that there were some synergies with my IP practice (and knowing that there would never be any issues with how well we might work together), she thought a new partnership between us might be a good fit.
Little did Heidi know that I already had my own move in the works! Over the preceding weeks, I had agreed to join another long-time friend of mine, Vivek Jayaram, as the managing partner of the Chicago office of Jayaram Law. Seeing a great opportunity, I quickly made calls and introductions between Heidi and both Vivek and my other new partner, Wendy Heilbut. The end result has been an incredibly exciting opportunity for Jayaram Law and for me personally: the addition of Heidi and her practice to our Chicago office.
I couldn’t be happier to welcome Heidi to the Jayaram Law family! Heidi is an outstanding data privacy lawyer who brings nearly 20 years of experience to our young and growing firm. She has been at the forefront of the extraordinary changes in the law regarding data privacy and security over the past generation. Heidi brings an exciting group of clients with her, including some of the world’s largest and most innovative healthcare providers, as well as many promising early stage technology driven ventures. Every day, Heidi demonstrates an exceptional ability to balance a sophisticated and nuanced approach to often complex state and federal privacy and security laws with a practical and cost-effective approach for her clients. Since joining the firm in July, she has already proved to be an outstanding mentor to our associates.
Speaking both on behalf of Jayaram Law and personally, I could not be happier to announce Heidi as a new member of our firm. Welcome Heidi!