Kelly M. Warner

Partner ( Chicago )

Direct 312.471.8740 Fax 312.471.8701 LinkedIn


Kelly Warner not only understands how to get the job done, she knows how to do it strategically, efficiently and with a smile. Her razor-sharp logistical instincts are perfectly balanced by her engaging, approachable manner, and stellar communications skills.

In dozens of complex internal investigations, Kelly has guided clients to identify and root out wrongdoing at all levels of organizations. In response to DOJ, SEC, and other regulators’ inquiries, Kelly's collaborative and creative approach creates opportunities for her clients to efficiently address the government's interest. In structuring and assessing clients’ compliance programs, she has guided clients to improve programs both proactively and in the face of government interest. In commercial litigation, she has led teams of attorneys prosecuting and defending high stakes actions in state and federal courts nationwide.

Kelly’s ability to communicate and bring people together includes a cutting-edge knowledge of technology and the law. She is the exception to the rule that most people who are skilled at understanding technical complexity are not very good at communicating about it. This combination helps her to assist her clients plan for and manage their cybersecurity risk, leverage technology as an offensive and defensive tool to comply with data privacy requirements, avoid discovery pitfalls and detours, and uncover the facts. Even in matters where she has not been retained as trial counsel, clients come to Kelly for assistance developing litigation strategies that conserve resources and strategically advance litigation.

Kelly has partnered with clients in a range of industries, including healthcare, technology, industrial manufacturing, cybersecurity, transportation, and youth services, to conduct internal investigations, prosecute and defend interests in litigation, conduct assessments of compliance programs, to develop and revise internal compliance policies and procedures, including codes of conduct, investigations, dealer due diligence, anti-bribery and litigation readiness policies, and to train employees on compliance. She has investigated and litigated cases involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-kickback statutes, healthcare fraud, data privacy and cyber breach, public corruption and official misconduct, environmental and securities fraud, defamation, trade-secret misappropriation, sexual harassment, and unfair competition.  Kelly recently served as an Assistant Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate police officers involved in connection with the shooting of Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald.

Kelly is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP-US) and a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. She has been an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She has presented extensively on the ethical implications of technology and cybersecurity. She is an active member of the Seventh Circuit Council on eDiscovery and Digital Information (formerly the Pilot Program on Electronic Discovery), selected to serve as a member of the Steering Committee and serves as the co-chair of the Education Committee. Kelly is also a member of the Sedona Conference Working Groups 1 and 9, contributing as a co-author and conference faculty member.



Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 2000
Michigan State University, B.A., Social Relations, 1996, with honors

Bar Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. Tax Court

Professional Memberships

Chicago Bar Association
The Chicago Bar Foundation
Board of Directors
Grants Committee, Co-Chair

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS)
Board of Directors, Past Member

International Association of Privacy Professionals, CIPP-US Certification
The Sedona Conference
Member, Working Groups 1 and 9

Seventh Circuit Council on eDiscovery and Digital Information
Education Subcommittee, Co-Chair
Steering Committee, Member
Mediation Subcommittee, Member

Women's White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA)
Chicago Chapter, Co-Leader

Teaching Appointments

Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law (2011-2016)

Honors & Awards

Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin Media Leading Lawyers (2019-2020)

Chicago’s Notable Gen X Leaders in Law, Crain’s Chicago Business (2019)

Chicago's Notable Women Lawyers, Crain’s Chicago Business (2018)

Illinois Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2020) 

Illinois Rising Stars, Thomson Reuters' Illinois Super Lawyers (2011-2014)

Who’s Who in eDiscovery Litigation, Who’s Who Legal (2018)

Publications & Presentations

“Remote Learning Providers are Getting Sued Over Data Collection. Here’s How to Limit Your Liability,” (co-author) BuiltIn (June 11, 2020)

“Preparing for Your Rule 30(b)(6) Records Custodian Deposition,” (panelist) MER Conference (May 5, 2020)

“COVID-19 And Compliance: Lessons From Great Recession,” (co-author) Law360 Commentary (April 14, 2020)

“Master the Deposition: A Critical Skills Program,” (panelist) Pincus Professional Education  (April 2, 2019)

“Perfect Timing: The right time to release legal holds,” (co-author) Illinois State Bar Association's Bench & Bar Section Council Newsletter (July 2018, vol. 49, no. 1)

“Perfect Timing: The Right Time to Release Legal Holds,” (moderator) ABA Twelfth Annual National Institute on E-Discovery, Chicago, IL (May 18, 2018)

“Possession, Custody or Control of Data in the Cloud, on Third Party Apps, and on Employee Mobile Devices,” (member and speaker) MER Conference (May 8, 2018)

“Federal Enforcement Agencies Take Action on Cybersecurity,” (author) RSHC Client Alert (February 23, 2018)

“On the Move:  Managing Mobile Device E-Discovery,” (panelist) ABA National Institute on E‑Discovery (May 11, 2017)

“Mastering the Deposition:  A Critical Skills Program,” (panelist) Pincus Professional Education (April 13, 2017)

“Early Preservation, Production and Sanctions Under the New Rules,” (panelist) Innovation in eDiscovery Conference, Chicago, IL (November 29, 2016)

“Electronically Stored Information and Competence: What An Attorney Must Know and How to Learn It,” (panelist) Bloomberg BNA (July 20, 2016)

“How Confident are You in Your Competence?,” (faculty member and panelist) The 10th Annual Sedona Conference Institute Program on eDiscovery Staying Ahead of the eDiscovery Curve: Retooling Your Practice Under the New Federal Rules, San Diego, CA (March 17, 2016)

“The Decade of Discovery” Screening and Panel Discussion, (moderator) Seventh Circuit Pilot Program on Electronic Discovery (April 15, 2015)

“Professional Responsibility Avec Grand Plaisir,” (panelist) The Sedona Conference All Voices Meeting, New Orleans, LA (November 7, 2014)

“Legal Holds and the Seven Stages of Grief,” (moderator) Seventh Circuit Pilot Program on Electronic Discovery (June 18, 2014)

Community Service

Kelly is passionate about broadening access to justice for all people, both by representing individuals and organizations that cannot afford legal assistance and through supporting legal services organizations. She currently serves as a Director of the Chicago Bar Foundation and as co-chair of the Grants Committee. She led a legal clinic operated in connection with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) for a number of years and served as an Executive Member of the Board of CVLS. She is an advisor to school-based legal clinics in Evanston, Illinois run by the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy. She worked with Northwestern University School of Law's Bluhm Legal Clinic's Center on Wrongful Conviction to obtain a new trial and ultimately an exoneration for an individual imprisoned for 16 years for a crime she did not commit.