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Monique (“Nikki”) Bhargava advises brands, advertising agencies, media and technology companies in all aspects of their business, including marketing and product claims, digital media, sponsorships, content and IP licensing. She also focuses on the convergence of advertising and emerging technology, helping clients navigate unique issues in new media, mobile marketing, social media, adtech and user-generated content. 

In addition, Nikki assists clients in identifying and managing privacy and data security risks. She works with clients to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of U.S. privacy laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, as well as global data protection laws (including GDPR). Nikki regularly assists clients in developing data use and protection strategies by evaluating and optimizing data practices, developing internal and external policies, conducting privacy assessments, and drafting / negotiating data privacy related agreements.

Nikki’s clients span a wide array of industries, including food and beverage, retail, automotive, consumer packaged goods, restaurants, pharmaceuticals and OTC, financial services, advertising, media (including broadcast, print, and digital), technology and sports.

Armed with practical and business-minded solutions, Nikki works with clients to achieve their goals while managing legal risks in the following areas:

  • Advertising: Claim substantiation, advertising and rights clearance, state and federal regulation, intellectual property issues (copyright, trademark, rights of privacy and publicity), agency/client contracts, media and adtech agreements, content licensing, talent and production contracts, social media, union issues, children’s advertising, network clearance, and sponsorships. 
  • Data Privacy and Security: Domestic (CCPA, GLB, COPPA, CAN-SPAM, FCRA, HIPAA, security breach notification laws, and other U.S. state and federal privacy and cybersecurity requirements), and international compliance (EU, LatAm, APAC), cross-border transfers, online behavioral advertising, use and monetization of “big data”, mobile privacy, cross-device data collection and use, and data breach preparedness and response. 
  • Marketing and Promotions: Consumer incentive and loyalty programs, sweepstakes and contests, gift cards, rebates telemarketing, event activation, cause marketing campaigns and other popular marketing devices. She also assists clients in negotiating and managing strategic marketing partnerships, including co-branding partnerships, product placements and sponsorships in various media and properties, including television, film, festivals, and sporting events.
  • Technology and E-Commerce: Website and mobile development, including transactional agreements, software and platform licensing, end-user license agreements, and other consumer facing policies. She also advises clients on E-Commerce strategies, including vendor and payment provider agreements, product quality and safety matters, and marketing integrations. 
  • Trademark, Domain Name, and Brand Protection: Trademark clearance for branding and advertising purposes, domain name and gTLD management and enforcement, asset licensing and protection strategies, as well as trademark portfolio management and enforcement. 
  • Advertising and IP Disputes: Advertising litigation, including federal, state, and local regulatory investigations, as well as NAD matters. She also counsels brands and agencies on contract and intellectual property disputes. 

Nikki is a frequent speaker at industry and bar association conferences and has published a number of articles on advertising and privacy topics. 

Outside of the office, Nikki has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, where she has taught advertising and promotions law. She is committed to pro bono service and volunteers for the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic and Lawyers for the Creative Arts and serves on the Board of Directors of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services. She is also an active member of several national and local organizations focused on the development and advancement of diverse talent in the legal profession.

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  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, Symposium Editor, University of Illinois Law Review
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • Named "Illinois Rising Star" in Media and Advertising by Thomson Reuters (2019-2020)
  • Named Among "Chicago's Notable Minority Lawyers" by Crain's Chicago Business (2018)
  • Named among “Top Emerging Lawyers in Illinois” in Advertising & Media, Data Privacy and Intellectual Property Law by the Leading Lawyers Network (2016-2018)


  • Former Adjunct professor, University of Illinois College of Law
  • Member, Board of Directors, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
  • Member, Board of Directors, Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago
  • Member, International Trademark Association
  • Member, Brand Activation Association
  • Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Former VP of Programming, Executive Board, South Asian Bar Association of Chicago
  • Former Committee Co-Chair, Leadership Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago