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Pravin Rao

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Partner

Firmwide Chair, White Collar & Investigations
News
04.2014
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted in Chicago Lawyer in an article addressing the history and growth of the Chicago office of Perkins Coie and the White Collar & Investigations practice nationwide.  Pravin explained how the growth of the white collar group in Chicago and nationally reflected the overall success of the firm, and how offering a full-service white collar practice leads to a broader reach in the U.S. and abroad.

03.2014
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted in Insight (A Magazine of the Illinois CPA Society) in an article addressing financial fraud and the negative consequences such allegations have on a company, from decreasing the stock valuation and inflicting long-term reputational damage, and how companies need to be vigilant to ensure their books are accurate, especially as the year-end close approaches.

08.2013
Press Release

Perkins Coie’s Chicago Investigations & White Collar Defense (IWCD) practice has been named White Collar Defense Practice of the Year by The National Law Journal.

06.2013
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted in Law360 in an article regarding the impact of the controversial change to the SEC’s no-admit, no-deny policy which will force defendants to make admissions in order to settle some civil lawsuits. Despite calls to make SEC enforcement tougher, this change “loses a big attraction for defendants to settle.”

05.2013
General News

Pravin Rao was profiled in Law360 as part of its Practice Group Leader Q&A Series, which offers a direct look at each attorney’s areas of expertise, revealing their toughest cases, hard-knock lessons, and take on issues ripe for reform. Pravin commented on dealing with the SEC on an insider trading case, the recent DOJ/SEC FCPA Resource Guide, and when to provide individual representation to employees in the midst of corporate internal investigations.

03.2013
Press Release

A Perkins Coie team scored a victory for Boeing in a securities class action over the 787 Dreamliner’s first flight.  In a unanimous opinion authored by Judge Richard Posner, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of the complaint and remanded to the district court for the limited purpose of determining whether plaintiffs’ attorneys, the Robbins Geller law firm, violated Rule 11.  

12.2012
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted in Law360 in article on the impact of the SEC's top enforcement official leaving the agency and the strategies a new chief may employ in bringing a large volume of cases focusing on insider trading and other market manipulation schemes.

07.2012
General News
04.2012
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on new rules involving Whistleblower complaints and the Wells process that are pressuring the SEC to make decisions on enforcement actions quicker than it had in the past, and how that influences strategies for dealing with the SEC.

01.2012
News Article

Pravin Rao was quoted in Law360 on the SEC's new position on no longer settling cases with "neither admit nor deny" language where there's already been admissions to or convictions of parallel criminal offenses.

01.2012
General News

Jon Buck and Pravin Rao successfully obtained the dismissal of an SEC insider trading case in SEC v. Garcia et. al. Rao was quoted in the Chicago Tribune and Law360 on the Judge's ruling.

01.2012
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted in Law360 on the future of Whistleblower and Hedge Fund Enforcement in 2012.

04.2011
General News

Pravin Rao commented on the SEC's modest funding increase for fiscal year 2011 while funding for other federal agencies was cut by $38 billion. Pravin noted that even with the budget increase, the SEC's resources will still be stretched given their responsibilities and they will need to prioritize the cases they bring.

01.2011
General News

Pravin Rao commented on the SEC's investigation of California's Public Employees' Retirement System, known as CalPERS, and whether this signals a newfound intention to crack down on state and municipal bond offerings.

07.2010
General News

Pravin Rao provided legal commentary on the SEC's settlement with Goldman Sachs in various national news publications and outlets, including USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Fortune,  Reuters, Law360, and the Wall Street Journal.

06.2010
General News

Pravin Rao commented on the Galleon Group insider trading case, which many defense attorneys claim highlights a potential growing collaboration between criminal prosecutors and civil agencies that could lead them to reconsider whether clients should cooperate with securities regulators.  "Lawyers may be less likely to tell clients to cooperate with regulators under the cooperation initiative – especially if it opens up the client to criminal liability because of the SEC's increased communication with prosecutors," said Rao.

06.2010
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted in a Law360 article entitled, "SEC Guidelines on Sanctions Unlikely to Ease Tension."  Pravin commented on the impact of the SEC creating uniform guidelines for its sanctions.  "Setting up a set of uniform sanctions and settlement guidelines could help establish thresholds for when bans from serving as an officer or director of a company and other nonmonetary penalties kick in," said Rao.

05.2010
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted in a National Law Journal article entitled, "After drought, SEC floods zone."  Pravin commented on the SEC's across-the-board rise in enforcement activity and fast-growing caseload.

05.2010
General News

If any of the major Wall Street banks facing criminal probes are to turn into criminal lawsuits, prosecutors will have to find the securities fraud equivalent of a smoking gun. Perkins Coie Partner Pravin Rao commented on the burden prosecutors have in proving such cases in a recent Law360 article.

05.2010
General News

Pravin Rao was featured in Legal Bisnow's monthly "Sound Bites" section.  This highly popular online newsletter for DC's legal industry includes a section where the publication gets a few experts to give their thoughts about a hot topic.  Pravin commented on the financial reform legislation, "Even if we agree financial reform is needed, does giving Wall Street cops more power, clamping down on debt, shifting responsibilities amongst regulators, and creating another agency to protect consumers become moot where 'too big to fail' mantra reigns supreme?" View "Sound Bites" section.

04.2010
General News

Pravin Rao provided commentary on developments in the SEC’s case against Goldman Sachs to CFOZone, an online publication that reports on news and developments affecting CFOs and other corporate finance leaders.

04.2010 - 05.2010
General News

Pravin Rao appeared on First Business television new segments, which aired in over 150 TV markets, and provided legal analysis on the SEC's case against Goldman Sachs alleging fraud in the structuring and marketing of CDOs tied to subprime mortgages, subsequent criminal investigations and shareholder litigation, and the likelihood of the case being settled with the Government. 

04.2010 - 05.2010
General News

Pravin Rao commented in multiple articles in Law360 on various aspects of the SEC's case against Goldman Sachs related to the marketing of CDOs, including the testimony of Goldman's officers before the Senate, the likelihood of settlement, and possible criminal exposure.

03.2010
General News

Pravin Rao recently appeared on Bloomberg television to provide legal analysis on the prevalence of insider trading in the hedge fund industry and the enforcement tools used by the Government in such cases.

01.2010
General News

Chicago Partner Pravin Rao was recently quoted in an article on law360.com about the financial crises from the past decade.

01.2010
General News

Perkins Coie Partner Pravin Rao was quoted extensively in an article entitled "Securities Cases to Watch in 2010." The coming year is expected to be full of high-profile cases brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The article, published by Law360, lists five cases securities professionals are sure to have their eyes on in 2010. SEC v. Rorech, the first-ever insider trading case listed to the default swaps, is among the cases mentioned. "The SEC is expanding its reach into an area where it's never really gone before," said Rao in regard to the case. Rao was also quoted on other cases listed in the article, including SEC v. Cuban and SEC v. Bank of America Corp.

12.2009
General News

The Obama administration recently created the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to investigate and prosecute crimes linked to the past year's financial crisis. This mission of this task force appears to be more broad than the task force created by President George W. Bush in 2002.  Time will tell what impact the new task force has on white-collar practices, Perkins Coie Partner Pravin B. Rao recently said in an article published by the Law Bulletin.

07.2009
General News

Pravin Rao was extensively quoted in a recent Law360 article on the steps companies can take to prevent employees from unlawfully sharing insider information. As shown in a recent SEC case of insider trading tied to credit default swaps, regulators are now on the lookout for insider trading in such non traditional areas. Vigilance is critical, said Rao, to prevent this kind of illegal activity among employees, "You may have all the policies in the world, but that company has to monitor what that person in the lending department and the person in the credit department are doing."

04.2009
General News

Pravin Rao was quoted extensively in a recent National Law Journal article on defending fraud allegations labeled a Ponzi scheme by prosecutors. The first thing the defense should question is whether it truly is a Ponzi scheme, Rao said. "I think the defense wants to work away from the stigma of Ponzi right now. The second step is to unravel the finances, because they can be so document-intensive. If you're talking about multiple accounts and foreign accounts, there may be no other way as a defense attorney but to hire a forensic accountant."

03.2009
General News

Prosecutors of Bernard Madoff submitted an intent to file a criminal information earlier this month which is usually an indication that settlement negotiations are in an advanced stage said Partner Pravin Rao in a recent Law360 article. The government usually does this when a grand jury indictment would be a waste of time and money. But, "Madoff could still go to trial," cautioned Rao, "People change their minds, and then you’re stuck in a trial two years from now."

01.2009
General News

Pravin Rao recently appeared on Bloomberg television to provide legal analysis on whether Madoff will remain free on $10 million bail.

12.2008
News Article

Though most fraud experts aren’t convinced, Bernard Madoff, a money manager recently charged with fraud, claims that he was alone in his complex $50 billion scheme. Among those under suspicion as accomplices are Madoff’s brother, two sons and niece, who all worked at his securities firm. However, Investigations & White Collar Partner Pravin Rao opinions that the suspected accomplices “may not necessarily have known,” as was quoted in the Reuters article “Claim Madoff Acted Alone Meets Skepticism.” “Sometimes family members are shielded from the fraud in a perverse way of protecting them,” said Rao.

12.2008
News Article

Law firms have not been an exception in the economic crisis, they too are feeling the pinch, but are finding new legal opportunities to help pick up the slack. One such opportunity is the increase in the number of white-collar prosecutions. "When the economy goes bad and people lose money, not only are companies and certain individuals subject to investigations by the government, but you have institutions and people suing each other, alleging fraud, or money that they lost," Partner Pravin Rao was quoted saying in the recent Chicago Lawyer article "Economic crisis: Law firms weather a changing climate." "In terms of my particular practice and our practice group, our skill set would be the ideal thing for the type of cases that will be brought," said Rao in reference to Perkins Coie’s Investigations & White Collar Defense practice.

11.2008
News Article

In the aftermath of Wall Street, angry taxpayers and investors are looking for someone to blame. Consequently, federal and state investigators are eager to find the culprits. Chicago Partner Pravin Rao commented on this head hunt for the Wall Street wrongdoers in the BusinessWeek article “Who Crossed the Line on the Street?” CEOs, directors, and other highly paid managers are likely targets because, "People want the most visible faces of these companies to pay," said Rao.

11.2008
News Article

Pravin Rao, Litigation partner in Chicago, was one of four attorneys featured in a Compliance Week article "Case Studies: When the SEC Comes Knocking" that examined five common mistakes companies make when they are the center of a Securities and Exchange Commission probe.

11.2008
News Article

Chicago Partner Pravin Rao was quoted throughout an Inside Counsel article titled "Flagrant Fraud". The article discussed the convictions and sentences of Berkeley Pharmaceutical executives, Steven Warshak and Paul Kellogg, which stemmed from a long list of misdeeds including conspiracy, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, band fraud and money laundering.

10.2008
News Article

Chicago Partner Pravin Rao was quoted in the National Law Journal Article "Subprime Mortgage Lenders not Popular with Potential Jurors". The article was based on a recent survey which found that nearly 90% of the jury eligible respondents believed subprime lenders abandoned sound lending practices.

10.2008
News Article

Chicago Partner Pravin Rao was quoted in the Reuters article "Lifting the Lid: Wall Street Probes Target Complex Securities". The article discussed the recent financial industry meltdown and the string of executive investigations and prosecutions that have followed.

09.2008
General News

Chicago Partner Pravin Rao was a featured guest during a segment on Canadian TV News on the crisis in the credit markets and related federal investigations of U.S. financial institutions.

Publications
02.24.2014
Update

The annual “SEC Speaks Conference,” where the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its senior staff review the major developments from the prior year, and preview the SEC’s enforcement priorities for the upcoming year, convened in Washington D.C. on February 21-22, 2014.

03.2013
Article
Law360

In this article, Pravin Rao, Keith Miller, Jose Lopez, Charles Mulaney and Gina LaMonica highlighted the SEC's enforcement priorities in 2013, as presented at "The SEC Speaks" conference held in Washington, DC, from February 22-23, 2013.  A continuation by the SEC to accelerate its efforts to protect investors and promote the integrity of the marketplace emerged from this year’s conference. At the heart of these efforts are increasingly effective programs in enforcement and examination.

02.25.2013
Update

The annual “SEC Speaks” conference, in which Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) representatives review the agency’s efforts over the past year and preview the year to come, was held on February 22-23, 2013.  A back-to-basics “investor protection” theme emerged from this year’s conference, as the SEC reposts in the wake of Chairman Mary Schapiro and Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami departing.

11.14.2012
Update

On November 14, 2012, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued their long-anticipated Resource Guide regarding the agencies’ enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

11.21.2012
Co-Author, Article
Law360

In this article, Pravin Rao, Lee Stein, Markus Funk, Bridget Minder, Caryn Trombino, Gina LaMonica, and Amy Chang analyzed the DOJ and SEC's new guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The authors discussed that the long-anticipated guidance provided helpful clarifications and hypothetical case studies for corporate counsel, and yet is not binding on courts or even the agencies themselves. The article cautioned that corporate counsel remain cognizant that the guidance may change, perhaps even dramatically.

06.28.2012
Update

The U.S. Supreme Court extended Apprendi to criminal fines when it reversed a several million dollar fine imposed on Southern Union Co., a natural gas distributor, for unlawfully storing liquid mercury at a facility in Rhode Island in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (“RCRA”). RCRA, among other things, requires (with certain exceptions) that owners and operators of facilities that treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste obtain permits. Criminal liability may be imposed under RCRA for knowing violations of the statute. 42 U.S.C.§ 6928(d). The statute authorizes criminal penalties of up to $50,000 “for each day of violation.” Id.  The Supreme Court found that the judge-imposed fine violated the company's right to a jury trial because a jury did not make the factual findings required to impose a fine in excess of the statutory minimum.  After the Southern Union ruling, facts that increase a statutory fine must be proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

04.04.2012
Update

On April 4, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act.

03.2012
Co-Author, Article
Insights: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor

In this article, Pravin Rao, Jose Lopez, Jon Buck and Caryn Trombino highlight the SEC's enforcement priorities in 2012, as presented at "The SEC Speaks" conference held in Washington, DC, from February 24-25, 2012.  The SEC's record 735 enforcement actions in 2011 has prompted a renewed rallying cry as the agency emerges from its Dodd-Frank rulemaking efforts with an eye toward ratcheting up its proactive risk-based initiatives and continued pursuit of aggressive enforcement efforts.

02.28.2012
Update

On February 24-25, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and its senior staff presented at the annual "SEC Speaks" conference to comment on major trends from the previous year and to forecast anticipated developments for 2012.

04.2011
Co-Author, Article
The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation

In the article, "Changing Landscape of Swap Regulation," Pravin Rao and Assad Clark discuss some of the macro issues that created the need for greater swaps regulation, how the Dodd-Frank Act has empowered the SEC and CFTC to regulate the industry, and what that regulation will look like.

04.2011
Co-Author, Article
Mortgage Bank Magazine

In this article, Pravin Rao and Suleen Lee examine how mortgage-backed securities (MBS) have become a priority for the SEC's investigative resources.  The authors describe what might constitute a potential SEC action against banks and provide proactive measures banks can take to ensure they do not become the target of SEC enforcement actions or private litigants.

03.08.2011
Update

The American Bar Association’s 25th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime (March 2-4, 2011) featured, among other panelists, senior members from the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), various state and federal prosecutors, representatives from federal regulatory bodies, members of the federal judiciary and leading practitioners from the white collar defense bar.  This Update highlights several of the most significant trends in white collar prosecution signaled by these panelists as likely to shape 2011’s enforcement landscape.

02.08.2011
Update

At this year’s annual “SEC Speaks” conference held on February 4-5, 2011, representatives from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reviewed the SEC’s 2010 achievements and previewed upcoming 2011 enforcement initiatives.  While last year’s program sent a strong message of aggressive enforcement and regulation, the theme that emerged this year was the growing tension created by the SEC’s expanded mandate to regulate in the face of enormous budgetary constraints that threaten its ability to carry out its mission effectively.  In this regard, the message emerging from 2011’s SEC Speaks appears to be squarely directed to Congress, as the Commission plainly concedes that the bold possibilities created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will require corresponding funding if the Commission is to succeed in meeting its mandate.

10.25.2010
Update

The OECD has criticized other signatory nations for not living up to their anti-bribery obligations, and in its just released report also identifies certain discrete areas for U.S. improvement. But the bottom line message is that the U.S. government is a leader in anti-corruption enforcement.

07.2010
Co-Author, Article
The National Law Journal

In this article, Pravin Rao and Gina Ori discuss the growth in multi-jurisdictional FCPA cases. Many nations now have anti-bribery laws and countries are working more closely to pursue joint cases. Given this ever-expanding anti-bribery framework, companies will need to analyze multiple bribery laws to assess their exposure, make self-disclosure decisions and reach a suitable resolution.

05.2010
Co-Author, Article
Corporate Secretary

In this article, Pravin Rao and Gina Ori examine the SEC's new cooperation initiative and its potential impact on future enforcement actions. The authors note that while there may be benefits to cooperating with the SEC under the new program, potential cooperators should proceed with caution because the information they provide may give rise to or be used in subsequent criminal prosecutions or civil litigation.

02.2010
Author, Article
American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Newsletter

In this article, Pravin Rao discusses the possible civil and criminal liability for insider trading involving Credit Default Swaps (CDS) and suggests pre-emptive measures to prepare for such enforcement. 

11.2009
"Forecasting Finra's Future"
Co-Author, Article
InvestmentNews

In this article, Pravin Rao and Howard Rosenburg examine FINRA’s background and its traditional role, including its current mandate, how it was formed, and how it is governed. The authors focus the majority of the article on how the current economic crisis and changes in the regulatory and law enforcement framework affect FINRA’s future role. They also discuss previous criticism of FINRA and how the organization has responded and adapted to it. Lastly, Rao and Rosenburg explain FINRA’s future and what can be expected, and detail some specific recommendations for financial services firms to adjust to a new FINRA and renewed regulatory environment.

09.08.2009
Update

The federal government's long-running investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball has yielded more than just newspaper headlines and embarrassed sluggers. Last week, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewing the steroid investigation announced new and enhanced guidelines applicable to all search warrants for electronically stored information ("ESI") in the Ninth Circuit.

07.28.2009
Update

On July 17, 2009, a federal district court in Texas dismissed an insider trading suit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Mark Cuban, the high-profile owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks.

06.22.2009
Update

On June 17, 2009, the Obama administration released its proposal for financial regulatory reform. The five policy objectives outlined in the proposal include (1) promoting supervision and regulation of financial firms, (2) establishing supervision and regulation of financial markets, (3) increasing protections for financial consumers, (4) improving tools for managing financial crises, and 5) establishing international regulatory standards and stepping up international cooperation.

03.2009
“Handling Government Investigations in the Current Financial Crisis”
Author, Article
Executive Counsel

In this article, Pravin Rao discusses the important measures companies should take to protect themselves and their shareholders from the devastation of an investigation into their books, records, investment practices or financials disclosures.

02.2009
Co-Author, Article
The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation

In the article "Revenue Recognition in Troubled Times," Pravin Rao and Jade Lambert discuss important restatement cases, and offer a checklist of steps to prevent overestimates of receivable collectability, a frequent cause of overstated income.

10.2008
Author
American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section Newsletter

In this article, Pravin Rao provides tips for companies facing independent investigations conducted by federal prosecutors and civil regulatory agencies that relate to the same facts and circumstances.

07.2008
Co-Author, Article
Securities Law 360

Pravin Rao and Gina Ori address industry concerns about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed amendments to Regulation S-P, the consumer privacy and data security rules first adopted by the SEC in 2000 for Securities Law 360.

Education

  • 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

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • 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