“What is going to be on the horizon — getting ahead of it or containing it if you can’t get ahead,” he said. “Even if you know litigation is going to be inevitable, how can you be putting your best foot forward?”
Litigation happens and can be used by a business to its advantage because it provides a systematic way to solve disputes, resolution and finality, and possible guidelines for future disputes. It’s not a perfect system “but it’s pretty darn good,” Kahnke said.
Protection of data, including trade secrets, and other breaches of confidentiality are the main concerns of business in this networked age, Kahnke said.
“The best you can do is to be tuned into the issue [of protection of information] and understand it before you have a problem and then make smart decisions,” he said.
One of the hard decisions is who has access to information. Restricting access may offend people. Companies need to protect information and still allow the right people access so they can help the business. “If it’s done properly, you can get people there. Not everyone can have access, and that benefits all of us,” he said.
If there is a breach, the company must be prepared to act swiftly and be committed to the process of stopping the breach and notifying persons who are affected, he said, and “litigation becomes part of that. You need to be all in and see it through to conclusion.”
There are major trends in the law that have put heightened emphasis on protecting trade secrets and also on limiting the scope of noncompete agreements, Kahnke said. The latter means the former is more important.
Faegre Drinker has had two major mergers, one in 2012 and one in 2020. Its goal is to meet the needs of its clients across the world but also keep a local focus, given the large number of significant corporations in the state, Kahnke said. “To be able to do that is really important to our clients,” he said.