Alston & Bird has expanded its litigation and regulatory enforcement capabilities with the addition of former U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) veteran Kathleen Benway as partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.
Drawing on more than 12 years of service at the FTC, including most recently as chief of staff for the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Benway brings significant regulatory, legislative, and enforcement experience in consumer protection law, including privacy and data security.
“Businesses today face unprecedented uncertainty about the rules that govern the flow of personal information,” said Kristy Brown, Alston & Bird partner and co-leader of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Practice Group. “Kathleen is a superb attorney whose frontline experience at the highest levels of the FTC will benefit our clients by giving them a window into how the agency approaches enforcement and litigation regarding privacy and data security, deceptive advertising, social media endorsements, and other hot-button consumer protection issues.”
While at the FTC, Benway served as chief of staff to three former directors of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, where she managed day-to-day operations, represented the bureau in interactions with FTC commissioners, and assisted with congressional relations.
Benway also held a number of other positions at the FTC. In addition to serving as attorney advisor to former FTC Commissioner Julie Brill and counsel to the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, she led investigations and litigated enforcement actions as a senior attorney in the bureau’s Privacy and Identity Protection Division and Marketing Practices Division. Additionally, she served two details as counsel to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, where she assisted in investigations and advised senators, staff, and other stakeholders on proposed legislation and policy issues within the FTC’s jurisdiction.
Benway also served at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where she was assistant chief of the Enforcement Bureau.
Before joining Alston & Bird, Benway was a partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP.
“With Kathleen’s arrival, we continue to add exceptional talent to grow key practices and capabilities to meet the needs of our clients,” said Dennis Garris, partner in charge of Alston & Bird’s Washington, D.C. office. “Finding an attorney of Kathleen’s caliber who has significant experience at the FTC, FCC, and in the Senate is a big plus for our clients as the federal government continues to fix its regulatory sights on consumer protection law and policy, especially privacy and data security.”
Benway is the most recent addition to Alston & Bird’s Washington, D.C. office. She follows Richard Slowinski, who joined from Baker McKenzie as tax partner in October, and Jane Lucas, who joined in September from the White House as public policy and health care counsel.