Grant Fondo, an experienced federal prosecutor and former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of California, is a partner in Goodwin's Securities Litigation & White Collar Defense Group, its Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice and Co-Chair of its Digital Currency & Blockchain Technology Practice. He represents technology, FinTech, blockchain, digital currency, life sciences, private equity and venture capital clients in a wide range of contested matters. Mr. Fondo was recognized nationally as a 2015 National Law Journal White Collar Trailblazer, a 2016 and 2017 "future star” litigator by Benchmark Litigation, and recommended by Legal 500 U.S. for this work in Financial Services Litigation and White Collar Defense.
Mr. Fondo has significant experience conducting trials and appeals in state and federal courts and arbitrations, as well as representing clients before administrative agencies. He focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, class action and securities litigation, federal and state regulatory matters including before the SEC, FTC, State Attorney Generals, District Attorneys, and FinCEN, M&A litigation, cybersecurity and privacy matters, internal investigations, and commercial disputes.
Prior to joining Goodwin, Mr. Fondo served for nearly five years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of California, where he focused on prosecuting white collar crime, including investment, bank, financial, health care and securities fraud, drug trafficking and money laundering. Mr. Fondo’s trials included obtaining the conviction of the owner of a large national company for bank fraud after a month-long trial, and obtaining the conviction of a criminal defense lawyer for money laundering. As a prosecutor, Mr. Fondo won every trial.
During his time as a federal prosecutor, he led a multi-jurisdictional take down of an international drug trafficking organization resulting in what was believed to be the largest seizure of methamphetamine in U.S. history. This case received the 2012 Northern California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area case of the year award, an effort run by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Mr. Fondo is the partner in charge of Pro Bono in Goodwin's Silicon Valley office. Mr. Fondo also is on the Northern District of California Criminal Justice Act panel and one of the co-founders of the joint criminal trial program between private law firms in Silicon Valley and Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender.
Mr. Fondo’s current matters include:
- Representing a former analyst of a major U.S. bank charged with insider trading by the U.S. Department of Justice and SEC in the Central District of California
- Representing the CEO of a company in a criminal investigation in the Northern District of California
- Representing the CEO of a technology company in an SEC investigation relating to fraud claims in the Northern District of California
- Representing the special committee of a national organic food company in responding to a DOJ criminal investigation in the Eastern District of California, and negotiated a Non-Prosecution Agreement
- Advising blockchain and digital currency clients from the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, London, and Israel in regulatory matters
- Representing an online services company in response to a state investigation
- Representing a client charged with illegal exportation of goods in the Northern District of California
- Representing a client in responding to a cybersecurity incident
Mr. Fondo’s recent matters include:
- Represented a criminal defendant in the Northern District of California facing a minimum of 10 years in jail; after filing a motion to suppress evidence the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed the indictment against the client a few weeks before trial
- Successfully obtained a dismissal of all charges filed against a defendant criminally charged with multiple counts of securities fraud in an alleged multi-million dollar securities fraud
- Represented a well-known company in regards to various state regulatory inquiries with no action taken
- Represented a client in a post-merger arbitration, resulting in a favorable verdict and multi-million attorney fees award
- Represented a digital currency company in a DOJ settlement and the first ever FinCEN settlement with a virtual currency exchange
- Represented Sand Hill Exchange founders in the settlement of an SEC enforcement matter relating to derivatives and digital currency
- Represented an online equity company and its executives in response to an SEC investigation into the unregistered sale of securities and alleged illegal swaps. Resolved for client with no action taken
- Represented a digital currency company in a state investigation, with no action taken
- Represented a well-known private equity fund in response to an SEC investigation concerning the fund’s alleged lack of disclosures to investors. Resolved for client with no SEC action taken
- Represented individuals in a False Claims Act health care investigation
- Advised a former executive in China in a joint DOJ/SEC FCPA investigation, with no action taken
- Represented one of the world's largest online communities in successfully moving to quash the DOJ subpoena seeking user information
- Represented Internet Archive and the American Library Association in the landmark smartphone privacy and 4th Amendment case of Riley v. California, whose position, outlined in a successful amicus brief, was in substance adopted by the Justices
Mr. Fondo was one of only 50 attorneys in the United States recognized as a 2015 National Law Journal White Collar Trailblazer. He has also been recognized by Benchmark Litigation 2016 as a “future star” litigator, by Legal 500 as a Recommended Lawyer in White Collar Defense and Financial Services Litigation, and is listed in the Global Investigations Review 100, a guide to the world’s leading firms for corporate investigations.
Mr. Fondo has been an active participant in bar association activities throughout his career, serving as:
- Steering Committee, Federal Bar Association, Northern District of California, 2016-present
- Co-Chair, White Collar & Corporate Governance Subcommittee of the Securities Litigation Committee, ABA Section of Litigation, 2008-present
- Co-Chair, Continuing Education Program Subcommittee of the Intellectual Property Litigation Committee, ABA Section of Litigation, 2005-2007
- Co-Chair and Program Co-Chair, Computer and Internet Litigation Committee, ABA Section of Litigation, 1995-2005
- Member, Federal Courts Committee, Santa Clara County Bar Association, 2011-present
He is also a board member and founding member of the Digital Currency and Defense Ledger.
His volunteer work includes being on the Board of Directors of the Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children's Arthritis Foundation and Los Alto-Mountain View PONY Youth Baseball League.He is also a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.