Claudia Rast is a Shareholder based in Butzel Long's Ann Arbor office and is the Practice Department Chair of the Intellectual Property, Cybersecurity and Emerging Technology Group. Blending her expertise in law, business, and science, Ms. Rast assists companies in their strategic choice and use of technology. She counsels companies both large and small on innovative and emerging issues in the areas of privacy, cybersecurity, data theft, intellectual property licensing and registration, and the forensic preservation and analysis of electronically stored information. With the rise of cyber events in recent years, her background in forensics, IT environments, and security has proved invaluable in working with clients to both defend against and respond to pervasive cyber attacks. Similarly, over the past several years, Ms. Rast has worked within both the IT entrepreneur community and the automotive supplier network to negotiate contracts covering innovative technologies associated with autonomous and connected vehicles, such as security, privacy, data ownership, and responses to the new laws and regulations, both domestic and foreign.
Ms. Rast is also an experienced environmental lawyer, focusing on alternative energy and sustainability practices, including work on the development of a global Rule of Law Index for environment and energy with the World Justice Project. Nationally, she was appointed by the President of the American Bar Association in 2013, and reappointed in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, to serve on the ABA's Presidential Cybersecurity Legal Task Force, on which she is currently serving a three-year term as its co-Chair (2020-2023). This Task Force examines risks posed by criminals, terrorists, and nation-states that seek to steal personal and financial information, disrupt and destroy critical infrastructure, and wage cyberwar. Locally, she served (2006-2013) as a Board Member of the Clean Energy Coalition (CEC), where she developed the legal framework for the DOE's $15M grant in 2009 to the CEC for the Michigan Green Fleets project and the Michigan Public Service Commission's $4.5M grant for the Cities of Promise program. In Ann Arbor, she served on the Board of the New Enterprise Forum (2008-2013), where she coached technology start-ups in their efforts to connect with management expertise, venture capital, and business partners. Currently, she serves on the Board of the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, DBA the Blood Cancer Foundation of Michigan (2018--) and chairs the IT and Security Committee, and is a member of the Finance Committee of Ann Arbor’s SPARK (2018--), and economic engine in SE Michigan focused on four innovation-driving industries: automotive and mobility; life sciences and healthcare; data and information; and technology.
Ms. Rast is a frequent national speaker on matters ranging from Cybersecurity, Privacy, Data Breach, eDiscovery, and Social Media. Her publications include articles for Environmental Compliance and Litigation Strategy (August 1998) and the Institute of Management Consultants USA (March 1999). She was a contributor to ICLE's Michigan Environmental Law Deskbook, Vols. I-II (1994), and co-authored the annual update on Environmental Law for The Wayne Law Review in 1990. On the business and technology side, she has written articles for Michigan Banker Magazine (April 1997), Detroiter (June 1998), Environmental Compliance and Litigation Strategy (August 1998), the Institute of Management Consultants USA (March 1999), and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce magazine, Michigan Forward (February 2000). She is also a contributing author to ICLE's Advising eBusiness Startups (June 2001), and The Internet & Technology Guide for Michigan Lawyers (ICLE 1996-1999), with licensed editions in California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Ms. Rast also authored an online course for CPE credit, CPA's Guide to Privacy (Bisk Education 2006, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 & 2020), and a chapter on Privacy & Data Breach for Thompson Reuters' "Inside the Minds" Aspatore Book series (April 2013).