Bernice Karn* is a leading lawyer in the areas of information technology (IT), licensing and privacy law and a partner in our Toronto office. She is ranked as one of Canada’s top IT lawyers by the world’s foremost ranking publications, including Chambers Global and Chambers Canada (IT) and Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World's Leading Technology, and Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (IT).
Extensive IT and IP Expertise
For over 25 years, Bernice’s expertise in IT law has benefitted clients from a range of industries, including major retailers, e-commerce companies, hospitals, universities and major Canadian financial institutions. She has significant experience in outsourcing matters and regularly advises clients on the acquisition and disposition of IT assets and intellectual property (IP) rights. She is extremely knowledgeable in the area of IT-related agreements and has deftly crafted master services, joint venture, development, license, escrow, consulting and cloud computing/SaaS agreements for her clients. Bernice’s strong background in IP complements her IT practice as she provides in-depth counsel on trade-marks prosecution, copyright licensing, rights clearances, marketing and advertising law, as well as social media campaigns.
Through her numerous mandates in IT and outsourcing matters for financial institutions, Bernice has developed a strong understanding of the regulatory framework within which financial institutions must conduct outsourcing business. She applies this expertise in her work with banks, insurance companies and their service providers, as well as mortgage administration companies.
Bernice also advises on all aspects of procurement procedures and Canadian laws of competitive bidding. Her involvement ranges from assisting clients with competitive request for proposals and multiple vendor negotiations to sourcing partnerships.
In addition, Bernice is a certified licensing professional and a member of the payments team at Cassels Brock.
Notable Privacy/Data Security Proficiency
Bernice’s practice also includes advising on privacy laws and data security, a growing area of concern for most companies, as more and more rely on IT-driven solutions. She advises clients on private and public sector privacy and data protection laws and emerging developments, such as Canada’s anti-spam legislation.
Bernice has assisted clients in developing and implementing policies and compliance procedures for handling and safeguarding personal and company information, maintaining and transferring customer and employee information, and regulating data transfers with third parties. She regularly conducts privacy assessments and information security policy audits and, when needed, can use her skilled expertise in this area to assist clients in handling and responding to data security incidents.
For her work in this area, Bernice was named a 2015 "Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal.
Recognized IT Expert
Bernice has been recognized by publications worldwide for her expertise in IT and privacy law. She is ranked by Chambers Global for her work in IT. Chambers notes: “sources highlight her significant in-house background as a strong asset,” while clients say “I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.” Bernice is also ranked in the Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (IT) as well as their Guide to the Leading Women in Business Law and in is recognized as a leading technology lawyer by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory; in addition, Bernice was selected as a finalist by Euromoney’s Women in Business Law for “Best in Media & Entertainment (2013).”
Related IT-Related Transactional Experience