After less than two years as chair of Dilworth Paxson’s health care group, partner Katherine M. Keefe has left the firm to head up the new business unit of network security and privacy risk insurer Beazley.

The new unit, called BBR Services, is responsible for carrying out the services provided to policyholders covered under Beazley Breach Response, which launched in 2010 and which Beazley describes as “a unique insurance, loss control and risk mitigation service that provides a comprehensive service to notify and protect the customers of policyholders that have suffered a data breach.”

BBR Services focuses on quickly responding to clients who have recently suffered a data breach.

Keefe told The Legal her new position is a business role rather than a legal one.

According to Keefe, when Beazley approached her about the position, she was intrigued by the opportunity to “be able to take my regulatory experience into more of a business role, instead of a traditional in-house legal position.”

“The whole area of data security and data privacy is of such growing importance,” Keefe said, noting that she has witnessed the evolution of data technology throughout her 26-year career.

Keefe, who chaired Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin’s health law practice from 2007 to 2011 before leaving for Dilworth Paxson, said that over the years she has developed a specialty in handling data privacy and security issues for health plans and health care providers.

Keefe joined Dilworth Paxson as a partner in February 2011, taking over as head of the firm’s health care group from Roger F. Wood, who remains chair of the firm’s business department and mergers and acquisitions group.

Firm Chairman Joseph H. Jacovini told The Legal at the time that while Dilworth Paxson has a number of attorneys who handle health care litigation, finance and mergers and acquisitions, the firm was interested in Keefe because of her expertise in health care regulatory matters.

Keefe recently told The Legal that her new role at BBR Services will allow her to employ that expertise in a number of ways, explaining that her primary duty will be providing immediate guidance and advice to insurers “who are in the heat of the moment with data breaches.”

Keefe and her team will be responsible for walking clients through post-breach processes such as notifying appropriate regulatory agencies as well as any individuals affected by the breach.

In addition, according to Keefe, her team will work to educate its clients on how to handle these issues through “value-added services” like compliance trainings.

Keefe said BBR Services has in-house counsel as well as a panel of outside law firms it can provide to clients who have suffered data breaches, but that her position will be strictly a business and advisory role.

Still, Keefe, who early in her career worked as in-house counsel for Hahnemann University Hospital before becoming general counsel of Keystone Health Plan East and then deputy general counsel for Independence Blue Cross, said she anticipates her experience as a health care lawyer and her familiarity with the industry will inform many aspects of her new job.

“I think both from a substantive perspective and from an organizational perspective, after 26 years of dealing with regulatory issues and working with all manner of players in the health care spectrum, I’m able to sort of speak the same language,” she said, adding, “I have a good grasp on what the operational issues are for our customers and what the legal issues are for them.”

In addition, Keefe said the roles she’s held as a practice group leader have made her well-equipped to manage a team.

Keefe said her colleagues at Dilworth Paxson as well as her clients were very supportive of her decision to transition out of her legal practice, noting that she spent the time leading up to her departure transitioning her clients to other lawyers at the firm.

Jacovini told The Legal on Thursday that the firm plans to bring a new health care chair on board October 8, but would not give a name.

Jacovini said Keefe was “instrumental” in helping to recruit her replacement.

According to Jacovini, while Keefe focused her practice on health care regulatory matters, the firm continues to do “significant work” in health care financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and litigation.

Jacovini added that the firm has attorneys who can handle the regulatory work as well.

Zack Needles can be contacted at 215-557-2493 or Follow him on Twitter @ZNeedlesTLI.