Firmwide Chair, Investigations & White Collar Defense
Pravin Rao is a partner in the firm’s Litigation practice and firmwide Chair of the Investigations & White Collar Defense practice. He is uniquely positioned as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, as well as an SEC Enforcement Branch Chief, to provide comprehensive representation and counseling to clients on a wide variety of complex criminal and civil regulatory matters. Recently, Pravin was appointed to be FCPA Monitor of a large multinational corporation to oversee its governance reforms in connection with a deferred prosecution agreement and settlement with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Pravin has also served as a court-appointed examiner in a federal bankruptcy proceeding where he was tasked with investigating a company managing over $100 million in pension assets.
Pravin has drawn on his unique securities and commercial fraud background to assist individuals and FORTUNE 500 companies in responding to government inquiries. He regularly conducts internal investigations in significant and sensitive areas, including those with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), financial fraud, anti-trust, and corporate governance issues.
Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Pravin served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney where he supervised and developed strategies in investigations that targeted violations of federal criminal law, including commodity and securities fraud, bank fraud, mail/wire fraud, mortgage fraud, bankruptcy fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, copyright infringement, Internet fraud, public corruption, tax offenses, health care fraud, money laundering, arson, narcotics, firearms, civil rights violations, child pornography, perjury, and obstruction. Pravin has developed a unique perspective from conducting parallel investigations with the SEC, CFTC, and other regulators in complex cases involving large publicly traded companies, officers and directors, broker-dealers, and hedge funds. Pravin has tried a number of jury trials as a "first chair" and argued numerous appeals in both federal and state courts.
Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Pravin served as an Enforcement Branch Chief with the SEC, where he directed numerous high profile investigations and litigation involving revenue recognition, financial statement and disclosure fraud, insider trading, investment advisory fraud, prime bank and Ponzi schemes, market manipulation, failure to supervise, broker-dealer misconduct, and record-keeping, reporting and registration violations. He has maintained his ties to the SEC, having served as Regional Chair of the Association of SEC Alumni while at Perkins Coie.
Pravin is a frequent commentator in the press on the government's fraud enforcement efforts and the SEC, especially where these topics intersect the criminal arena, and has been quoted in BusinessWeek, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and other TV and print media. He writes regularly on these same topics and is regularly invited to speak to in-house counsel and industry groups. Finally, Pravin has also been retained as an expert witness in court and FINRA arbitration settings where securities laws were at issue.
Securities Litigation and White Collar Defense
- Secured dismissal of SEC insider trading claim in SEC v. Garcia et al on summary judgment where the SEC alleged defendant traded on inside information ahead of an announced corporate takeover. Judge ordered release of frozen assets and lifted injunction previously obtained by the SEC.
- Successfully represented The Boeing Company and two of its senior executives in the highly-publicized securities class action litigation related to the 787 Dreamliner airplane and obtained the dismissal of the case with prejudice.
- Conducted multiple internal investigations for FORTUNE 500 companies on FCPA, Travel Act, and bribery/corruption issues, and conducted FCPA compliance training for multiple multinational companies.
- Represented multiple companies in disputes related to Auction Rate Securities (ARS).
- Conducted investigation for public company of its options granting practices.
- Served as lead counsel for a court-appointed receiver in a SEC-related matter in Federal Court.
- Represented individuals and companies in FINRA investigations.
- Represented numerous individuals and companies in criminal matters involving allegations of fraud (mail, wire, securities, bank, mortgage, and tax), money laundering, and criminal forfeiture.
Criminal and Civil Parallel Proceedings
- Represented Google in negotiating a NPA (non-prosecution agreement) with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Rhode Island related to Canadian online pharmacy ads.
- Conducted internal investigations for a multinational Fortune 500 company involving antitrust issues and the FTC; provided counsel on both civil and criminal exposure and effective remediation efforts.
- Provided counseling to counsel for multinational company on FCPA exposure based on recent changes in DOJ/SEC enforcement efforts.
- Represented and counseled individuals facing simultaneous actions by multiple regulators, including the SEC, CFTC, Federal Reserve, IRS, FINRA, Illinois Department of Securities, and various state prosecutors.
- Represented officers and directors in SEC investigations concerning insider trading, Ponzi schemes, internal controls, revenue recognition issues, and investment advisory fraud, while also assessing and dealing with possible criminal exposure.
- Ranked by Chambers USA as "America's Leading White Collar Crime & Government Investigations Lawyers," 2013
- Listed as an Illinois Super Lawyer as published by Law & Politics, 2010 - 2013
- Rated Superb on Avvo.com
- "Chairman’s Award for Excellence," U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- "Performance Award," U.S. Department of Justice
- "Outstanding Service Award," U.S. Internal Revenue Service
- "Superior Contribution Award," U.S. Secret Service
- "Award for Exceptional Work and Dedication," U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
- "Outstanding Contribution Award," Illinois Arson Award Committee
- Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, Board Member
- Asian American Law Foundation, Former Board Member
- Association of SEC Alumni (ASECA), Former Regional Chairman
- Loyola University School of Law, Adjunct Faculty, 2001 - 2002
- Asian American Bar Association, Former Board Member and Treasurer
- U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, IL, Assistant U.S. Attorney, 2003 - 2007
- Securities and Exchange Commission, Chicago, IL, Branch Chief, 2000 - 2003; Senior Attorney, 1999 - 2000
- Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago, IL, Assistant State’s Attorney, 1995 - 1999
- Inland Steel Industries Inc., Chicago, IL, Project Manager/Consultant, 1989 - 1992
- Emerson Electric Co., St. Louis, MO, Financial Analyst, 1988 - 1989
- University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1995
- Washington University Olin School of Business, M.B.A., Finance, 1989
- University of Michigan, B.S., Pure Mathematics, 1987
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois - Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado