Professional Biography
Image of Pravin Rao

Pravin Rao Partner

Member, Firmwide Executive Committee

  • Chicago

    D +1.312.324.8592

    F +1.312.324.9592


    131 South Dearborn Street, Suite 1700

    Chicago, IL 60603-5559


  • Washington, D.C.

    D +1.202.434.1662

    F +1.202.654.6211

    Washington, D.C.

    700 13th Street, NW, Suite 600

    Washington, DC 20005-3960




Pravin Rao is uniquely positioned as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and SEC Enforcement Branch Chief to provide comprehensive defense, representation, and counseling to corporate and individual clients on a wide variety of complex criminal, securities, and civil regulatory matters.

Pravin has drawn on his extensive criminal enforcement and civil regulatory background to assist individuals and companies in responding to inquiries from the DOJ, SEC, CFTC, State AGs, and other government agencies. He has conducted numerous internal investigations in significant and sensitive areas, including those with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), OFAC, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, financial fraud, anti-trust, and corporate governance issues.

Pravin was appointed by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to serve as a FCPA Monitor of a large multinational corporation to oversee, evaluate, and test its anti-corruption compliance program (one of only 36 such appointments in the last decade). He 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.

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 often 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.

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2019: Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • Consistently listed in Benchmark Litigation: Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys as a "Litigation Star" in National White-Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations
  • Ranked by Chambers USA as "America's Leading White Collar Crime & Government Investigations Lawyers," 2013 - 2018
  • Listed as an Illinois Super Lawyer as published by Law & Politics, 2010 - 2019
  • Rated Superb on
  • "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

*The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and no certificate, award or recognition is a requirement to practice law in Illinois.

Professional Leadership

  • Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate & Securities Law Institute, Executive Committee, 2018 - 2019; Planning Committee, 2017 - 2018
  • Lawyers-Lend-A-Hand, Board of Directors, 2017 - 2018
  • The Chicago Committee, Board of Directors, 2016 - 2018
  • Law360 White Collar Editorial Advisory Board, Member, 2015 - 2016
  • Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, Former Board Member
  • Asian American Law Foundation, Former Board Member
  • Association of SEC Alumni (ASECA), Former Regional Chairman
  • Asian American Bar Association, Former Board Member and Treasurer

Related Employment





Bar and Court Admissions

  • Illinois
  • District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois - Trial Bar


  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School, M.B.A., Finance, 1989
  • University of Michigan, B.S., Pure Mathematics, 1987