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Leading Data Privacy Lawyer Susan Benington Joins Varnum’s Corporate Practice in Detroit

April 7, 2020

Benington arrives from General Motors where she served as Global Data Privacy Counsel for the past five years

Susan Benington has joined Varnum’s corporate team. She is based in the firm’s Detroit office.

Benington focuses her practice on data privacy and connectivity matters. She negotiates privacy terms for commercial technology and data licensing agreements, and drafts complex consumer privacy notices and disclosures. She has substantial experience counseling global business and technology clients on data privacy obligations and risks relating to connected products and services, and guiding clients through global and domestic privacy compliance efforts, such as GDPR and CCPA. She joins the firm after serving as data privacy and cybersecurity counsel for General Motors in Detroit.

“We are fully committed to growing our cybersecurity and data privacy practices and we are delighted to welcome Susan to our team,” said Varnum Chair Ron DeWaard. “Her industry knowledge is exceptional, and we are confident our clients will benefit from her wide-ranging experience.”

Benington will partner with Jeff Stefan in Varnum’s Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. Both attorneys have extensive experience in cutting-edge legal and policy matters, including with autonomous vehicle and connected services technology.

“With the addition of Susan, we are able to offer our clients access to one of the strongest data privacy teams in the region,” Stefan said. “We are additionally excited about the continued growth of the firm’s connectivity practice, serving an emerging market that impacts multiple industries.”

“Joining Varnum to further develop and advance this growing practice is a great opportunity,” Benington said. “The people and the culture at Varnum were a good fit, and I am looking forward to working with Jeff and the rest of the team.”

About Susan Benington

Benington attended the University of Michigan for her undergraduate degree and graduated magna cum laude from Michigan State University School of Law, where she served as managing editor of Law Review. She holds a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University in the area of national security law, which focuses on emerging legal obligations in the areas of data privacy and cybersecurity. She is credentialed as an IAPP certified information privacy professional.

Following law school, Benington served for a year in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan as a clerk for the Honorable Avern Cohn. She was in private practice for several years before joining the in-house counsel team at General Motors.

Prior to law school, Benington worked for several years in Washington, D.C. as a technology consultant, managing teams responsible for deploying software solutions for federal government clients. She also worked for an agency providing consulting services to the FBI, counseling clients and implementing technology to improve business operations.

About Varnum’s Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice

Varnum's Data Privacy and Cybersecurity team is one of the strongest in Michigan. Our team is made up of technology-focused attorneys with broad legal authority in data privacy and cybersecurity. Each of our core team members holds advanced certification in information privacy by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the world’s largest global information privacy community.

Varnum assists organizations large and small with the development of sound data privacy and security practices, along with real-time advice to address the evolving regulatory environment. We advise clients in a range of industries including autonomous and connected vehicles, as well as the consumer data marketplace.

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