Bernice Karn: Lawyer with Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Bernice Karn

Toronto,  ON  Canada
Phone416 869 5721

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Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Business
  • Copyright & Entertainment
  • Education
  • Information Technology
  • Privacy
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Business
  • Life Sciences
  • Payments Industry
University University of Western Ontario, B.A., 1981; Schulich School of Business, M.B.A., with Distinction, 1999
Law SchoolUniversity of Western Ontario, LL.B., 1984
Admitted1986, Ontario

•American Bar Association
•Canadian Bar Association
•IT-Canada (Director)
•Licensing Executives' Society (Internet and E-commerce Committee)
•Ontario Bar Association
•Toronto Computer Lawyers Group


Bernice Karn is a leading lawyer in the areas of information technology (IT), licensing and privacy law and a partner in our Toronto office. She is ranked as one of Canada's top IT lawyers by the world's foremost ranking publications, including Chambers Global (IT) and Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Technology, and Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (IT).

Extensive IT and IP Expertise

For over 25 years, Bernice's expertise in IT law has benefitted clients from a range of industries, including major retailers, e-commerce companies, hospitals, universities and major Canadian financial institutions. She has significant experience in outsourcing matters and regularly advises clients on the acquisition and disposition of IT assets and intellectual property (IP) rights. She is extremely knowledgeable in the area of IT-related agreements and has deftly crafted master services, joint venture, development, license, escrow, consulting and cloud computing/SaaS agreements for her clients. Bernice's strong background in IP complements her IT practice as she provides in-depth counsel on trade-marks prosecution, copyright licensing, rights clearances, marketing and advertising law, as well as social media campaigns.

Through her numerous mandates in IT and outsourcing matters for financial institutions, Bernice has developed a strong understanding of the regulatory framework within which financial institutions must conduct outsourcing business. She applies this expertise in her work with banks, insurance companies and their service providers, as well as mortgage administration companies.

Bernice also advises on all aspects of procurement procedures and Canadian laws of competitive bidding. Her involvement ranges from assisting clients with competitive request for proposals and multiple vendor negotiations to sourcing partnerships.

In addition, Bernice is a certified licensing professional and a member of the payments team at Cassels Brock.

Notable Privacy/Data Security Proficiency

Bernice's practice also includes advising on privacy laws and data security, a growing area of concern for most companies, as more and more rely on IT-driven solutions. She advises clients on private and public sector privacy and data protection laws and emerging developments, such as Canada's anti-spam legislation.

Bernice has assisted clients in developing and implementing policies and compliance procedures for handling and safeguarding personal and company information, maintaining and transferring customer and employee information, and regulating data transfers with third parties. She regularly conducts privacy assessments and information security policy audits and, when needed, can use her skilled expertise in this area to assist clients in handling and responding to data security incidents.

Recognized IT Expert

Bernice has been recognized by publications worldwide for her expertise in IT and privacy law. She is ranked by Chambers Global for her work in IT. Chambers notes: “sources highlight her significant in-house background as a strong asset,” while clients say “I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her.” Bernice is also ranked in the Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (IT) as well as their Guide to the Leading Women in Business Law; in addition, Bernice was selected as a finalist by Euromoney's Women in Business Law for “Best in Media & Entertainment (2013).”

Related IT-Related Transactional Experience

•Advising a major Canadian retailer on master services agreements for code development and system integration
•Negotiating master consulting agreements with major IT consulting vendors on behalf of significant Canadian retailer
•Advising a Canadian bank on credit card production agreements, statement production and processing agreements, and payment processing agreements
•Advising “super computer” manufacturers
•Advising a Canadian university on several satellite launch projects
•Advising a major Canadian retailer on IP aspects of private label insurance products
•Advising a Canadian university on building of hi-performance computing centre and acquisition of hi-performance “super computers”
•Advising a Canadian university on several “Massively Open Online Course” agreements
•Advising several Canadian universities on SaaS agreements for email services with major IT vendor
•Providing legal advice on matters related to cloud-based mortgage administration systems

•Certified Licensing Professional
Chambers Global 2012-2014 (Information Technology)
•The 2010 Legal Media Group Guide to the World's Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers (Information Technology)
•The 2010 Legal Media Group Guide to the Leading Women in Business Law (Technology, Media and Telecommunications)

Publications, Newsletters and Articles

CASL is Here - Now What? Practical Issues for Insurers and Brokers

The Clock Is Ticking: Canada's Anti-Spam Law Coming Into Force In Less Than A Month

Digital Privacy Act - Everything Old Is New Again

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation Coming Into Force in 2014: Are You Ready?

Back to the Drawing Board? Supreme Court Finds Parts of Alberta's Privacy Legislation Unconstitutional

Cyber Security: OSFI Issues Self-Assessment Questionnaire

IT Due Diligence in M&A Transactions: Scoping Out a Thorough Review of a Target's IT Assets (Trending2013: An M&A Series)

Negotiating IT Contracts - 10 Things You Should Consider (CBB Corporate Counsel Insights Series)

10 Things About Canada's New Anti-Spam Law (CBB Corporate Counsel Insights Video Series)

Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation One Step Closer to Being Proclaimed in Force

The Cassels Brock Report - July 2011

Canada's Anti-spam Legislation - Regulations Now Open for Comment

Restructuring and Insolvency Group e-COMMUNIQUE - October 2009

Conferences, Speaking Engagements, Events

Bernice Karn discusses Legal Considerations - From Contract Negotiations to Data Ownership

Bernice Karn speaks on Big Data - Risks and Benefits

Bernice Karn discusses Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

Bernice Karn Presents Privacy Issues Affecting IT Contracting

Bernice Karn Discusses Big Data

Bernice Karn Presents Countdown to Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation

Bernice Karn Presents Surveillance and Security in the Cloud - Contractual Concerns and Self Help

Bernice Karn Presents “Fostering an Information Governance Culture”

Bernice Karn Presents “Medical Records - Responding to Data Breaches”

Bernice Karn Presents Managing Privacy and Data Security Risks in Emerging Payments Markets in Washington, D.C.

Bernice Karn a Panellist on Current and Proposed Laws Governing Mobile Payments

Bernice Karn Presents The Art of Self-Promotion for Female Lawyers

Bernice Karn Presents Canada's New Anti-Spam Law: Are You in Compliance?

In The News
Cassels Brock Recognized by Chambers Global 2014

Cassels Brock Team Quoted on Anti-Spam Legislation in National Post

Cassels Brock Recognized by Chambers Global 2013

Bernice Karn discusses Legal Considerations - From Contract Negotiations to Data Ownership

Bernice Karn speaks on Big Data - Risks and Benefits

Bernice Karn discusses Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation


Documents by this lawyer on

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CASL is here - Now What? Practical Issues for Insurers and Brokers
Bernice Karn, July 17, 2014
As of July 1, 2014, this type of message may become a familiar refrain in the emails you receive. Canada’s new anti-spam law (commonly known as “CASL”) prohibits the sending of any type of non-exempt “commercial electronic message” (“CEM”) unless the...

The Clock is Ticking: Canada’s Anti-Spam Law Coming into Force in Less Than a Month
Imran Ahmad,Bernice Karn, June 17, 2014
The clock is quickly ticking to July 1, 2014, when one of the most stringent anti-spam laws in the world will come into force. To educate businesses about the new legislation, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissioner (the “CRTC”) recently held a number of...

Digital Privacy Act - Everything Old is New Again
Bernice Karn, April 16, 2014
On April 8, 2014, the Harper government introduced Bill S-4 in the Senate. The new Bill, known as the "Digital Privacy Act" is touted as providing new protections for Canadians when they search the web and shop online. However, for privacy observers, the Digital Privacy Act largely...
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Office Information

Bernice Karn

40 King Street West
TorontoON M5H 3C2


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