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Former Deputy General Counsel of the Chicago Board of Education Joins Hinshaw

Douglas Henning brings extensive experience with Title IX compliance and related issues

August 5, 2019

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP today announced that Douglas A. Henning has joined the firm as a partner in the Government practice in the firm's Chicago office. Formerly the First Deputy General Counsel for the Chicago Board of Education, Henning founded and served as chief of the school district's Office of Student Protections & Title IX, the first such office established by a school district in the nation.

"Public entities and corporations are dealing with heightened risks associated with alleged sexual misconduct, and Doug has a unique perspective to assist them with the daunting legal issues involved, especially public school districts, private schools, and universities," said Richard S. Porter, practice group leader of the firm's Government practice. "Doug brings a perfect mix of high profile public sector work coupled with significant litigation experience, which makes him a powerful asset to our clients and the firm."

Henning's practice will focus on assisting school districts, corporations and other entities in developing risk and compliance policies, procedures, and best practices for the prevention of, investigation of, and response to allegations involving sexual misconduct, assault, harassment, and bullying. Henning said he was drawn to Hinshaw because of its national geographic footprint, the firm's deep relationships in the public sector, and its talented and dedicated team of attorneys.

Henning served as second in command of the Law Department at the Chicago Public School District, the third largest in the nation, since 2016. He created the Office of Student Protections (OSP) & Title IX, the first such office in the country. Following a series of media articles detailing incidents of sexual misconduct involving students, Henning helped lead the district's efforts to correct the issue, which led to establishment of the OSP. He developed policies and procedures for compliance with Title IX, developed and implemented district-wide training on proper techniques for preventing and responding to sexual misconduct, designed guidelines for investigations and a data collection system, coordinated with law enforcement, established student support services, and oversaw day-to-day operations of the office and staff. According to Henning, the program is transferable to other school districts, higher education institutions, governmental agencies, and corporations. He was also responsible for an extensive community outreach effort to restore public trust, drafted and promoted legislation, and testified before the Chicago City Council and the state legislature on related issues.

"Every school district, large and small, is struggling with these issues and many are unknowingly failing to satisfy their Title IX compliance requirements," Henning said. "The financial resources necessary to adequately meet the compliance requirements can be significant. My experience with the Chicago school system was a life-changing experience. I believe that experience, coupled with my strong commitment to fighting sexual violence and misconduct, especially in the school setting, can really benefit other school districts."

A seasoned litigator, Henning oversaw litigation strategy for the school district in high-stakes, complex litigation matters, and directed a team of five Deputy General Counsel responsible for various units within the Law Department. He also advised the district on legal matters including negotiation and drafting of complex commercial transactions, risk management, and legal/ethical compliance issues.

Prior to joining the school district, Henning served as chief attorney for the Chicago Transit Authority, where he was the lead attorney involved in negotiation and drafting of the mobile application development and services agreement for creation of the unified fare payment system for Northern Illinois. He was also responsible for commercial disputes, negotiation and drafting of complex agreements, drafting agency policy documents, and resolving government contract and procurement issues. He began his legal career in 2005 at Ice Miller LLP.

Henning received his JD, cum laude, from The John Marshall Law School, and his B.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. based law firm with offices in 11 states and London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the professional services sector—including representation of law firms and lawyers—and other highly regulated industries, such as banking and finance and the debt collection sector. Hinshaw also provides a series of closely coordinated litigation, business advisory and transactional services to clients of all sizes as well as governmental and public sector entities.

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