Former U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon is Managing Partner and Head of Litigation of our Chicago office and a partner in the Special Matters and Government Investigations practice, twice named by Law360 as “White Collar Practice Group of the Year.”
As United States Attorney in Chicago, Zach led one of the top prosecutor’s offices in the country and oversaw successful investigations and prosecutions in areas of financial crime, corporate misconduct, fraud, public corruption, gangs, terrorism and other criminal and civil matters.
During his 25 years in the private and public sectors, including over 12 years as a federal prosecutor, Zach has built a reputation as a careful, discrete problem solver and an elite trial lawyer. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Zach specializes in bet-the-company civil and criminal trials as well as high-stakes government and internal investigations.
He has tried numerous cases, on both sides of the table, including the successful corruption trial of former Illinois Governor George Ryan.In the private sector, Zach previously chaired the Litigation Department for the Chicago office of one of the world’s largest law firms.
Legal 500 US named Zach a “Leading Lawyer” for Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Corporates in its 2018 edition, making him one of only 13 lawyers nationwide to receive that designation.
As U.S. Attorney, Zach served over nine million constituents in Northern Illinois, and even more broadly served in roles with national reach. He worked closely with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership, U.S. Attorneys across the country, and other enforcement officials on two Attorney General Advisory Committees (AGACs). He co-chaired the AGAC White Collar Crime Subcommittee and co-chaired the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group which includes the DOJ, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other agencies.
Zach is a frequent speaker on various subject matters including violent crime and anti-violence initiatives, corporate anti-bribery compliance programs, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act, honest services fraud, internal investigations, and insider trading laws. He is a Visiting Distinguished Scholar at Northwestern University School of Law where he previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy. For the 2017-18 academic year, he led a series of talks about gun violence in Chicago and also moderated conversations on this topic with stakeholders from the legal, nonprofit, and law enforcement communities.
Zach has received numerous awards and recognition for outstanding service including the Chicago Crime Commission Stars of Distinction Award, the Chicago Federal Bureau of Investigation Award in Recognition of Outstanding Service and Dedication, and the U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance.
Zach has served on the not-for-profit Boards of Directors of A Better Chicago, Metropolitan Family Services of Chicago, and the Legal Aid Society of Chicago, which he Chaired. He remains a committed advocate for the broader Chicago community.
- J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law
- B.A., Vanderbilt University
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