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About me

Pravin Rao is a partner in the Litigation practice at Perkins Coie law firm and Chair of the firm's 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, including assisting individuals and FORTUNE 500 companies respond to government inquiries and conduct internal investigations. 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 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 10 jury trials and argued 11 appeals in federal courts, and served as “first chair” in numerous trials and over 25 appeals in 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.

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 subject areas and is regularly invited to speak to in-house counsel and industry groups.  Pravin has also been retained as an expert witness in civil litigation involving securities issues and in a FINRA arbitration


Practice areas


  1. White Collar Crime: 40%
  2. Investment Fraud: 40%
  3. Litigation: 20%

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Contact info

Perkins Coie LLP

131 South Dearborn Street Suite 1700
Chicago, IL, 60603-5559

131 South Dearborn
Suite 1700
Chicago, IL, 60603



DCActive 200907/10/2016
ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law199508/10/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Illinois Super LawyerLaw & Politics Magazine2011
Illinois Super LawyerLaw & Politics Magazine2010
Performance AwardU.S. Department of Justice2006
Chairman's Award for ExcellenceU.S. Securities and Exchange CommissionN/A
Outstanding Service AwardU.S. Internal Revenue ServiceN/A
Superior Contribution AwardU.S. Secret ServiceN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerPerkins Coie LLP2007 - 2011
Assistant U.S. AttorneyU.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois2003 - 2007
Branch Chief & Senior CounselU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission1999 - 2003
Assistant State's AttorneyCook County State's Attorney's Office1995 - 1999
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Bar AssociationMember, White Collar Crime Committee2007 - Present
Asian American Law FoundationBoard MemberN/A
Asian American Bar AssociationFormer Board Member and TreasurerN/A
Association of SEC AlumniFormer Regional ChairmanN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
The National Law JournalMore countries are prosecuting bribery, corruption2010
Corporate SecretarySame game, different rules2010
American Bar Association, Criminal Justice NewsletterEmerging Regulatory and Criminal Enforcement of Credit Default Swaps2010
InvestmentNewsForecasting Finra's Future2009
Executive CounselHandling Government Investigations in the Current Financial Crisis2009
The Review of Securities & Commodities RegulationRevenue Recognition in Troubled Times2009
American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section NewsletterDealing with Parallel Investigations2008
SecuritiesLaw360Proposed Reg. S-P Amendments: Some Concerns2008
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Illinois College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1995
Washington UniversityFinanceM.B.A. - Masters Business Administration1989
University of MichiganMathematicsBS - Bachelor of Science1987
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
The Chicago Bar Association, Securities Law CommitteeSEC v. Goldman Sachs2010
PLI's Internal Investigations ConferenceDealing with the Regulators2010
ABA National Institute on Securities FraudShow me the Money: Indemnification of Attorneys' Fees and D&O Coverage Issues2010
Chief Compliance Officer GroupComputer Security Breaches, Data Losses, and Reg S-P2008
Association of Corporate Counsel's Annual MeetingWhen the SEC Says Great Companies Got it Wrong2008
ABA National Institute on Securities FraudPrimer: Revenue Recognition (it just keeps coming back!)2008