Kari Kelly is an experienced tech attorney specializing in the guidance of both domestic and international AdTech, HealthTech, FinTech, software, and mobile app companies as they leverage their business data and intellectual property. Kari and her colleagues at Centric Legal regularly partner with Singularity to help companies navigate the evolving regulatory environment surrounding data privacy.

Kari began her career as a Foreign Associate in a premier corporate and intellectual property law firm in Cologne, Germany after her fellowship in German and EU business and intellectual property law with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She is now a founding Partner at Centric Legal, serving as outside general counsel to emerging growth companies and advising established tech businesses.

Previously, as in-house counsel for IBM’s Software Group in San Jose, California, Kari worked on cutting-edge legal issues at the intersection of the law and technology. She then joined the legal team in-house at Nelnet, Inc., a student loan servicer, where she was responsible for negotiating all strategic technology and software deals including channel alliances, technology acquisitions and structuring various licensing and SaaS arrangements. Kari served on the Executive Management Team of a technology subsidiary and internal innovation incubator. She was also an associate at the Silicon Valley office of Mayer Brown.

Kari is a devoted advocate of community arts, previously serving on the Board at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in Denver, an organization that emphasizes the importance of dance in community building amongst people from varying backgrounds. Kari currently lives in Berkeley, but hails from the mountains of Colorado, which instilled a lifelong passion for hiking and outdoor sports.

Representative Matters
  • Served as lead privacy counsel for Fortune 500 subsidiary company, international public company
  • Created first privacy policy, terms of use and marketing and communications policies, procedures and related documents for multiple companies, both domestic and foreign
  • Revised existing privacy, terms of use and marketing and communications policies, procedures and related documents for multiple companies
  • Created and revised compliance programs – including data privacy, marketing and communications, IP, HR, e-commerce and social media aspects – for companies ranging from late-state startups to Fortune 100 companies
  • Advised on IP and data privacy matters for Fortune 100 company in area of big data, secured transactions, wire transfers
  • Advisor to several state and local governmental and quasi-governmental agencies on data privacy matters including smart city projects
  • Special Privacy Counsel to various venture-backed data companies and HealthTech companies
  • Mentor to start-up incubator portfolio companies on privacy and data security (i.e. HIPAA) and general legal issues for start-up companies
  • Have conducted data mapping exercises for Fintech, HIPAA Covered Entities or Business Associates, consumer products and software companies with international employees and customers
  • Identified risks in current processes, prepared change recommendations, worked with teams to implement process changes, prepared supporting policy and process documentation and conducted internal and customer-focused training on data usage and privacy concerns
  • Lead Counsel negotiating high-value, key supply agreement for publicly traded, Silicon-valley-based biotech diagnostics company against an industry leading supplier of consumables
  • Co-Counsel representing a niche biotech company on a multi-million dollar, multi-year deal to procure key robotic equipment and related services with a global industry leader that has the impact of transforming the methodology available in the industry for certain laboratory tests
  • Lead Counsel on all U.S. software and services agreements for a leading global provider of proactive performance management software for critical IT infrastructure, payments and communications ecosystems
  • Represent a global Information technology solutions provider, on key customer negotiations for software and information technology services
  • As In-house Counsel, served on the Executive Management Team, Corporate Secretary and Chief Legal Officer to a tech subsidiary of a publicly traded, industry leading student loan origination and servicing company with majority market share of the software and technology in the industry
  • Special Privacy Counsel to a leading online peer-to-peer investment platform and to venture-backed mobile app development companies
  • Acting General Counsel to one of the largest data aggregators in the AdTech industry
  • Special Privacy Counsel to a business intelligence solution provider to the mortgage bank industry
  • Agreements: Routinely review IP, IT, marketing and communications, Co-Development and other types of agreements for privacy and data issues. Have also done HR/Employment agreement reviews
  • Provide in depth legal analysis of 50 data breach notification requirements involving encrypted vs. unencrypted data
  • Provide in depth analysis of HIPAA application to various types of medical and health financial data
  • Prepare data breach protocols and participate in data breach analysis and investigations.

Data Management Programs include:

  • Assessment of types of data and flows of protected and/or sensitive data
  • Report to executive suite on risks and benefits of existing data practices
  • Recommendations for optimization of processes, policies and compliance obligations
  • Establish Risk Management Executive Committee as part of general corporate governance structure
  • Craft appropriate privacy and data security policies and associated employee handouts
  • Set up vendor management standards and procedures to streamline and organize for audits, compliance purposes and efficiency
  • Draft various template agreements or addenda to create uniform standards
  • Train employee base (typically in conjunction with internal executives or department leads)
  • Advise on actions in the event of security incident or breach response in accordance with incident response plan

Golden Gate University, School of Law, San Francisco

  • J.D. 1999
  • Fellow German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Cologne Germany 2000

University of Colorado, Boulder

  • B.A. 1992

Bar Associations

  • California
  • Colorado

Professional Groups and Associations

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • HIMSS – Northern California
  • Vistage
  • Coolest Women We Know – Tech Leaders

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