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Zach Fardon leads King & Spalding’s Government Matters practice group, serves on the firm’s Policy Committee, and is Managing Partner of the firm’s Chicago office. As part of the Special Matters & Government Investigations team, Zach represents companies and individuals nationwide in a broad array of sensitive white-collar defense and investigations matters. He has built a reputation as a careful, discreet problem solver and an elite trial lawyer. A former United States Attorney, Zach has extensive experience on both sides of the table in bet-the-company civil and criminal trials and government and internal investigations. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Prior to rejoining King & Spalding in 2017, Zach served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, leading one of the top prosecutor’s offices in the country and overseeing prosecutions in areas of corporate misconduct, healthcare and securities fraud, public corruption, gangs, terrorism and other criminal and civil matters. He has tried numerous cases, including the successful corruption trial of former Illinois Governor George Ryan. Zach served for over three years on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) and co-chaired the AGAC’s White Collar Crimes Subcommittee, working closely with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership, U.S. Attorneys across the country, and other enforcement officials. He also 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. During his years of public service, Zach 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 U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Awards for Superior Performance.

At King & Spalding, Zach represents clients in high-stakes government investigations, internal investigations, white-collar litigation, and crisis response matters. He has guided public companies, boards of directors, major universities, government officials, and high-ranking corporate executives through sensitive matters involving fraud, public corruption, bribery, #metoo improprieties, financial improprieties, workplace violence, and data breaches, among others. 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. In addition, Chambers USA has consistently ranked him as a top White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations lawyer.

Zach is a committed advocate for the greater Chicago community and, in particular, for finding long-term solutions to Chicago’s gun violence epidemic. He 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 is an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law and currently serves on the Board of Advisors of Vanderbilt Law School and the Advisory Council of BAM (Becoming a Man).

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law

B.A., Vanderbilt University

Illinois

Tennessee

Leading Lawyer


Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense - Legal 500 US 2018

Fellow


American College of Trial Lawyers (2016)

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Recognition

Leading Lawyer


Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense - Legal 500 US 2018

Fellow


American College of Trial Lawyers (2016)

Matters

Represented Equifax in investigations by 47 state Attorneys General who formed a multi-state group to investigate the 2017 cybersecurity incident, which impacted approximately 145.5 million U.S. consumers, and in multiple related lawsuits brought by cities and states.

Represented the Chairman of the CFTC, two CFTC Commissioners, the CFTC Chief of Enforcement, and other CFTC staff in successfully convincing the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss contempt proceedings against the CFTC individuals alleging improper public statements regarding the CFTC’s settlement with Kraft-Mondelez in a market manipulation case.

Represented the Board of Trustees of the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois in an internal investigation into potential misconduct by its Executive Director.

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Matters

Represented Equifax in investigations by 47 state Attorneys General who formed a multi-state group to investigate the 2017 cybersecurity incident, which impacted approximately 145.5 million U.S. consumers, and in multiple related lawsuits brought by cities and states.

Represented the Chairman of the CFTC, two CFTC Commissioners, the CFTC Chief of Enforcement, and other CFTC staff in successfully convincing the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss contempt proceedings against the CFTC individuals alleging improper public statements regarding the CFTC’s settlement with Kraft-Mondelez in a market manipulation case.

Represented the Board of Trustees of the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois in an internal investigation into potential misconduct by its Executive Director.

Represented the Board Independent Directors of Interface Inc., the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of carpet tiles, in an independent investigation of #metoo allegations made by a whistleblower.

Conducted an independent investigation for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office into allegations of improper outsourcing of legal services at the CCSAO.

Represented a major state university in multiple sensitive matters, including #metoo allegations, COVID-19 return-to-campus issues, and investigations of improprieties in one of its sports programs.

Represented major U.S. corporations in internal investigations, coordination with law enforcement investigations, and crisis response and communications in the wake of tragic workplace violence incidents.

Representing a major financial services institution in responding to inquiries from various state Attorney General offices and other state regulators relating to a data breach.

Representing multiple high-ranked corporate executives in federal criminal investigations and SEC, DOJ, and state AG investigations involving product recalls, financial improprieties, bribery, RICO allegations, FCPA violations, and Medicare fraud and kickbacks.

Matters

Represented Equifax in investigations by 47 state Attorneys General who formed a multi-state group to investigate the 2017 cybersecurity incident, which impacted approximately 145.5 million U.S. consumers, and in multiple related lawsuits brought by cities and states.

Represented the Chairman of the CFTC, two CFTC Commissioners, the CFTC Chief of Enforcement, and other CFTC staff in successfully convincing the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss contempt proceedings against the CFTC individuals alleging improper public statements regarding the CFTC’s settlement with Kraft-Mondelez in a market manipulation case.

Represented the Board of Trustees of the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois in an internal investigation into potential misconduct by its Executive Director.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Represented Equifax in investigations by 47 state Attorneys General who formed a multi-state group to investigate the 2017 cybersecurity incident, which impacted approximately 145.5 million U.S. consumers, and in multiple related lawsuits brought by cities and states.

Represented the Chairman of the CFTC, two CFTC Commissioners, the CFTC Chief of Enforcement, and other CFTC staff in successfully convincing the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss contempt proceedings against the CFTC individuals alleging improper public statements regarding the CFTC’s settlement with Kraft-Mondelez in a market manipulation case.

Represented the Board of Trustees of the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois in an internal investigation into potential misconduct by its Executive Director.

Represented the Board Independent Directors of Interface Inc., the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of carpet tiles, in an independent investigation of #metoo allegations made by a whistleblower.

Conducted an independent investigation for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office into allegations of improper outsourcing of legal services at the CCSAO.

Represented a major state university in multiple sensitive matters, including #metoo allegations, COVID-19 return-to-campus issues, and investigations of improprieties in one of its sports programs.

Represented major U.S. corporations in internal investigations, coordination with law enforcement investigations, and crisis response and communications in the wake of tragic workplace violence incidents.

Representing a major financial services institution in responding to inquiries from various state Attorney General offices and other state regulators relating to a data breach.

Representing multiple high-ranked corporate executives in federal criminal investigations and SEC, DOJ, and state AG investigations involving product recalls, financial improprieties, bribery, RICO allegations, FCPA violations, and Medicare fraud and kickbacks.

Credentials

J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law

B.A., Vanderbilt University

Illinois

Tennessee

Leading Lawyer


Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense - Legal 500 US 2018

Fellow


American College of Trial Lawyers (2016)

Icon close

Close

Recognition

Leading Lawyer


Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense - Legal 500 US 2018

Fellow


American College of Trial Lawyers (2016)