Claudia Rast

Claudia Rast is a Shareholder based in Butzel Long's Ann Arbor office and is the Practice Department Chair of the Intellectual Property, Cybersecurity and Emerging Technology Group. Blending her expertise in law, business, and science, Ms. Rast assists companies in their strategic choice and use of technology. She counsels companies both large and small on innovative and emerging issues in the areas of privacy, cybersecurity, data theft, intellectual property licensing and registration, and the forensic preservation and analysis of electronically stored information. With the rise of cyber events in recent years, her background in forensics, IT environments, and security has proved invaluable in working with clients to both defend against and respond to pervasive cyber attacks. Similarly, over the past several years, Ms. Rast has worked within both the IT entrepreneur community and the automotive supplier network to negotiate contracts covering innovative technologies associated with autonomous and connected vehicles, such as security, privacy, data ownership, and responses to the new laws and regulations, both domestic and foreign.

Ms. Rast is also an experienced environmental lawyer, focusing on alternative energy and sustainability practices, including work on the development of a global Rule of Law Index for environment and energy with the World Justice Project. Nationally, she was appointed by the President of the American Bar Association in 2013, and reappointed in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, to serve on the ABA's Presidential Cybersecurity Legal Task Force, on which she is currently serving a three-year term as its co-Chair (2020-2023). This Task Force examines risks posed by criminals, terrorists, and nation-states that seek to steal personal and financial information, disrupt and destroy critical infrastructure, and wage cyberwar. Locally, she served (2006-2013) as a Board Member of the Clean Energy Coalition (CEC), where she developed the legal framework for the DOE's $15M grant in 2009 to the CEC for the Michigan Green Fleets project and the Michigan Public Service Commission's $4.5M grant for the Cities of Promise program. In Ann Arbor, she served on the Board of the New Enterprise Forum (2008-2013), where she coached technology start-ups in their efforts to connect with management expertise, venture capital, and business partners. Currently, she serves on the Board of the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, DBA the Blood Cancer Foundation of Michigan (2018--) and chairs the IT and Security Committee, and is a member of the Finance Committee of Ann Arbor’s SPARK (2018--), and economic engine in SE Michigan focused on four innovation-driving industries: automotive and mobility; life sciences and healthcare; data and information; and technology.

Ms. Rast is a frequent national speaker on matters ranging from Cybersecurity, Privacy, Data Breach, eDiscovery, and Social Media. Her publications include articles for Environmental Compliance and Litigation Strategy (August 1998) and the Institute of Management Consultants USA (March 1999). She was a contributor to ICLE's Michigan Environmental Law Deskbook, Vols. I-II (1994), and co-authored the annual update on Environmental Law for The Wayne Law Review in 1990. On the business and technology side, she has written articles for Michigan Banker Magazine (April 1997), Detroiter (June 1998), Environmental Compliance and Litigation Strategy (August 1998), the Institute of Management Consultants USA (March 1999), and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce magazine, Michigan Forward (February 2000). She is also a contributing author to ICLE's Advising eBusiness Startups (June 2001), and The Internet & Technology Guide for Michigan Lawyers (ICLE 1996-1999), with licensed editions in California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Ms. Rast also authored an online course for CPE credit, CPA's Guide to Privacy (Bisk Education 2006, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 & 2020), and a chapter on Privacy & Data Breach for Thompson Reuters' "Inside the Minds" Aspatore Book series (April 2013).

More recent articles include those for the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Trends newsletter on “Cybersecurity for Lawyers to Critical Infrastructure Clients” (Jan 2014 & Feb 2017) and “The Continuing Cybersecurity Threat to US Energy Infrastructure,” (Sept 2021), a book chapter entitled “Confidentiality and Security in a Modern World” for the ABA book entitled Ethics for the Environmental Lawyer (2017), a chapter in the 2d edition of the ABA Cybersecurity Handbook (2018) entitled “Best Practices for Incident Response,”  co-author of a chapter in the 3d edition of the ABA Cybersecurity Handbook (2021) entitled “Achieving Preparedness through Standards and Planning & Best Practices for Incident Response,” and co-author of the American Bar Association's Vendor Contracting Cybersecurity Checklist, Second Edition (2021).

Ms. Rast's memberships include the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, where she has been involved in the leadership of the Section since 1999, including serving as Chair of the Section in 2008-2009. In addition to the Board memberships listed above, she has served on the Ann Arbor New Enterprise Forum Board (2008-2013), the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Board (2008-2013), ICLE's Technology Training Advisory Board (1998-2016), and the Walsh College Technology Advisory Board (2016-2018). In 2001, she was the only lawyer named as a Technology Industry Leader in Crain's Detroit Business, and in 2003 the Ann Arbor Chapter of American Women in Computing named her as one of twenty "Top Michigan Women in Computing." In 2015, she was named by Michigan’s Lawyer’s Weekly as a “Leader in the Law,” defined as someone who is “changing the law, expanding access to justice and improving the profession and their communities.”

Ms. Rast is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.S., Natural Resources) and cum laude graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Detroit Law Review.


  • University of Michigan 1975, B.S.
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law 1986, J.D.


Leader in the Law, Michigan Lawyer's Weekly 2015

The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, 2013-2022; CleanTech Law, 2018-2022; Information Technology Law, 2018-2022; Privacy and Data Security Law, 2019-2022

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Energy Law, 2012-2013; Information Technology Law, 2012, 2014, 2017-2021; Information Management & Discovery Law, 2014, 2016-2018; Environmental Law, 2016; Litigation - Intellectual Property, 2018 & 2019; Copyright Law, 2020-2021

American Women in Computing, Ann Arbor Chapter - named one of twenty "Top Michigan Women in Computing" (2003)

Crain's Detroit Business - only lawyer named as a Technology Industry Leader (2001)

Editor-in-Chief of the University of Detroit Law Review (1985-1986)

Michigan Super Lawyers, Technology Transactions, 2017-2021


  • Michigan


American Bar Association – Presidential Appointment to the Cybersecurity Legal Task Force (Member 2013-2020; Co-Chair 2020-2023)

American Bar Association - Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (Member 1992- current; Chair, 2008-2009)

American Bar Association - Section Science and Technology Law (Member)


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