Grant P Fondo, Goodwin Procter LLP Partner, Co-Chair, Digital Currency & Blockchain

Grant P. Fondo

PartnerCo-Chair, Digital Currency & Blockchain
Grant P. Fondo
Silicon Valley
+1 650 752 3236

Grant Fondo, a former Assistant US Attorney in the Northern District of California, is a partner in the firm's Securities Litigation & White Collar Defense group. Grant also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee in addition to serving as founder and Co-Chair of the firm’s Digital Currency & Blockchain practice and Co-Chair of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practice. He represents technology, fintech, blockchain, digital currency, private equity, venture capital, and individual clients in a wide range of regulatory and contested matters.

Grant has significant experience conducting trials and representing individual and corporate clients regarding governmental investigations and enforcement actions. He focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, blockchain and digital currency, securities and class action litigation, federal and state regulatory matters including before the DOJ, SEC, CFTC, FTC, State Attorneys General, District Attorneys, and FinCEN, cybersecurity and privacy matters, internal investigations, and commercial disputes, and often advises boards on a variety of matters.

Grant is recognized by Chambers USA for his White Collar Defense practice and ranked as a leading lawyer by Chambers FinTech for his work in blockchain and cryptocurrency and crypto-asset disputes. Grant’s clients note that he has “a very strong nose for business and is ultra-sophisticated when it comes to the commercial aspects of the practice of law in the FinTech space.” Grant has also been recognized for his work by publications such The Legal 500 US, Daily Journal, The National Law Journal, and US News Best Lawyers and has received numerous awards and features such as the Am Law Litigation Daily 2023: “Litigator of the (Past) Week Shout Out” for his successful defense of a major US cryptocurrency exchange and by The American Lawyer as “Litigator of the Week” for successful defense at trial of former J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst Ashish Aggarwal on 30 counts of criminal conspiracy, insider trading and wire fraud charges.


Grant vigorously defends his clients and regularly handles highly sophisticated government investigations and high-profile litigation for individuals including executives and board members for leading financial institutions and digital asset institutions and public companies and various other private and public companies across industries such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, healthcare, technology and finance. His track record of success includes two federal criminal jury trial wins for his clients as well as being called upon to represent clients in novel legal issues.

Representative Matters

  • Represented the second largest US-based digital currency exchange in responding to one of only four IRS exchange cases ever filed by the IRS. Grant Fondo and team successfully fended off an IRS request for a wide swath of account holder information (including user IP addresses, employment data, sources of wealth, net worth, and banking details). Am Law Litigation Daily 2023: “Litigator of the (Past) Week Shout Out” recognized him for this successful defense in this matter. He previously defeated the IRS is the first ever such case against a digital asset company, IRS v. Coinbase
  • Representing a former executive of a cryptocurrency exchange in response to a DOJ and OFAC investigation
  • Representing a former Terraform Labs employee in response to a government investigation
  • Representing a digital asset company in response to a CFTC investigation
  • Represented domestic and international companies, DAOs, and executives in response to SEC, DOJ, CFTC, IRS, OFAC and state investigations relating to digital assets
  • Representing a former CEO against criminal charges of securities fraud and wire fraud in the SDNY relating to the sale of digital assets
  • Represented the Tezos Foundation in a securities class action pending in the Northern District of California
  • Represented the issuer of a top digital token in response to the SEC’s investigation of the issuer’s alleged illegal Initial Coin Offering, successfully obtaining a no action letter after a more than two year investigation
  • Represented the issuer of a digital token in response to the SEC’s investigation of the issuer’s alleged illegal Initial Coin Offering, with no action taken
  • Represented Tierion in its settlement with the SEC regarding the company’s token issuance
  • Represented Poloniex in its settlement with the SEC regarding its trading of digital assets
  • Represented a digital currency exchange in obtaining the first civil order in which a federal court custodied digital currency
  • Represented a digital currency company in a DOJ settlement and the first ever FinCEN settlement with a virtual currency exchange
  • Represented Sand Hill Exchange and its founders in the settlement of an SEC enforcement matter relating to derivatives and digital currency

  • Successful defense at the trial of former J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst Ashish Aggarwal on conspiracy, insider trading, and wire fraud charges. A Central District of California jury found Aggarwal not guilty on 26 counts related to his role in an alleged insider trading scheme. The court later granted defendant’s motion to dismiss the remaining four counts. This is a rare defense victory in an insider trading case and the first since the December 2016 US Supreme Court decision in Salman v. United States lowered the bar for prosecutors in insider trading cases. The SEC litigation is ongoing.
  • Representing the current and former executives and members of the board of directors of a bank in relation to pending investigations by the Federal Reserve, OCC, SEC, and DOJ
  • Representing current and former directors of a bank in response to an OCC investigation
  • Representing former C-suite executives of a bank in response to various government investigations
  • Representing the CEO of a bank in response to a DOJ investigation
  • Represented the former CEO of Wells Fargo in civil class action and derivative litigation and SEC and OCC investigations, and RICO civil litigation
  • Successfully obtained the dismissal of two federal RICO lawsuits filed against a former CEO of a major US bank, affirmed on appeal by the Ninth Circuit
  • Represented a former executive of a public company in a Bank Secrecy Act investigation with no action taken

  • Representing a former Google engineer in the defense of federal criminal indictment alleging the theft of AI trade secrets
  • Represented an engineer relating to the alleged theft of trade secrets in a criminal investigation and civil litigation; the US Attorney’s Office launched an investigation but declined to prosecute
  • Represented a DAO in response to a cyber hack, resulting in the theft of over $100 million dollars in digital assets
  • Represented the former CEO of a company in a criminal investigation relating to cyber hacking in the Northern District of California, with no action taken
  • 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
  • Represented one of the world's largest online communities in successfully moving to quash the DOJ subpoena seeking user information

  • Represented and successfully defended at trial a client criminally charged with receiving Medicare kickbacks; after a five week federal criminal trial in 2023 the jury hung, but with a significant majority favoring acquittal. The government then dismissed the case in its entirety rather than proceed to retrial
  • Represented the CEO of a healthcare company in response to criminal charges alleging his receipt of more than $8 million in kickbacks; sentenced to probation, with no incarceration
  • Represented individuals in a False Claims Act healthcare investigation

  • Represented a private company in regards to an internal investigation, and in response to a criminal investigation, relating to allegations of an executive defrauding investors
  • Representing a UK company in response to a criminal DOJ and EU antitrust investigation, with no action taken in the DOJ investigation
  • Represented a former board member of a public company in an SEC investigation in regards to alleged insider trading while in possession of confidential information about a pending acquisition, successfully obtaining a no action letter
  • Represented a lawyer criminally charged with conspiring to set up offshore entities
  • Represented an individual involved with illegal trading in a CFTC investigation, with no action taken
  • 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 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 a client in a post-merger arbitration, resulting in a favorable verdict and multi-million attorney fees award
  • Successfully obtained a dismissal of all charges filed against a defendant criminally charged with multiple counts of state securities fraud in an alleged multi-million dollar securities fraud
  • Represented two former executives in an SEC and DOJ investigation relating to alleged securities fraud, with no action taken
  • Representing a CEO in response to SEC allegations of insider trading in advance of a merger
  • Led an internal investigation for a public company relating to insider trading
  • 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 US Attorney’s Office dismissed the indictment against the client shortly before trial
  • Represented the special committee of a national organic food company in responding to a DOJ criminal investigation in the Eastern District of California, and resulting in a Non-Prosecution Agreement

Professional Activities

Grant has been an active participant in bar association activities throughout his career, serving as:

  • Steering Committee, Federal Bar Association, Northern District of California, 2016-2018
  • Co-Chair, White Collar & Corporate Governance Subcommittee of the Securities Litigation Committee, ABA Section of Litigation, 2008-2022
  • Member, Federal Courts Committee, Santa Clara County Bar Association, 2011-2015

Grant’s other professional activities include serving as a:

  • Member of the Court Appointed Northern District of California Criminal Justice Act panel since 2014, representing indigent federal criminal defendants
  • Former member of The Government of Bermuda's Global Fintech Advisory Board
  • Former member of the Crypto Valley Association in Switzerland
  • Former Head of Litigation for Goodwin’s northern and southern California offices

His volunteer work includes serving on the Board of Directors of the Los Alto-Mountain View PONY Youth Baseball League and having served as the head coach of Summit Denali High School’s varsity baseball team.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining Goodwin, Grant served for nearly five years as an Assistant US 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. Grant’s trials included obtaining the conviction of the owner of a large national company for bank fraud after a month-long trial, the conviction of a criminal defense lawyer for money laundering after a three-week trial, and a conviction for bankruptcy fraud after a two-week 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 US 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.

Grant 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.




University of Virginia School of Law

(Omicron Delta Kappa - National Honor Society)


University of Vermont

(cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta - National History Honor Society)



  • California


  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Recognition & Awards

Grant has been consistently recognized for his outstanding achievements on behalf of clients throughout his career. A selection of recent recognitions include:

  • Am Law Litigation Daily 2023: Awarded a “Litigator of the (Past) Week Shout Out” for a significant victory over the IRS on behalf of the second largest US-based digital currency exchange
  • Chambers Fintech USA 2024: Ranked Band 2 for Crypto-Asset Disputes and Band 3 for Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies; clients note that he “has deep knowledge in the blockchain and crypto space where he works with a lot of relevant clients, so he has great insight."
  • Chambers USA 2024 – Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (California): Ranked Band 2; clients note his “expertise in the financial technology sector” and that he "has outstanding judgment, he's always prepared and he is among our most trusted outside advisers. He consistently delivers a high level of service and we especially value his service with complex governmental matters."
  • The Legal 500 US 2024: Recommended lawyer for White Collar Defense and Fintech
  • Daily Journal: Recognized as a top white collar lawyer in California for the third year in a row in 2023.
  • The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for Criminal Defense: White-Collar and Litigation - Securities 2022-2023
  • Benchmark Litigation: Recognized as a Litigation Star in California (2022 & 2021)
  • National Law Journal: in 2018, recognized as a Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer, and in 2015 as a White Collar Trailblazer
  • The American Lawyer: “Litigator of the Week” in 2017 for the successful defense at trial of former J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst Ashish Aggarwal on conspiracy, insider trading, tender offer fraud and wire fraud charges


Grant is the co-founder and editor of Goodwin’s Digital Currency & Blockchain Perspectives blog.

He is a frequent writer and sought-after speaker on blockchain and cryptocurrency, initial coin offerings (ICOs), SEC enforcement, and white collar litigation topics.

Grant’s recent speaking engagements include:

  • Speaker, “The Challenges of Cryptocurrency/Blockchain Litigation,” Association of Business Trial Lawyers Northern California, Woodside, CA, May 2024
  • Interviewed, “U.S. Crypto Regulation Bill Needs More Work to Define Boundaries, Former Prosecutor Says,” CoinDesk TV, August 2022
  • Speaker, “Crypto Decentralization and Web3: The Legal and Regulatory Landscape­ – Uncork SF, San Francisco, May 2022
  • Presenter, “Blockchain Litigation - A Discussion of the Latest Civil, Regulatory and Criminal Cases,” Webinar, October 2021
  • Presenter, “Digital Asset Frontlines ­- Understanding the NFT Revolution and What It Means for In-House Counsel,” ACC Sports & Entertainment Network, Webinar, April 2021
  • Speaker, “The Rise of Blockchain and How it Will Transform the Real Estate industry,” 9th Annual Real Estate and Law (REAL) Symposium, Stanford, February 2020
  • Speaker, “Virtual Currencies Banking & Regulating: How to Manage the Biggest Emerging Risks While Drawing the Benefits,” ACI’s 2nd Financial Crime Executive Roundtable, New York, September 2019
  • Speaker, “Blockchain Governance and Security,” 16th Annual Stanford Digital Economy Best Practices Conference, Stanford, June 2019
  • Speaker, “Initial Coin Offerings,” American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) 5th Annual Blockchain, Digital Currency and ICO National Institute, New York, April 2019
  • Speaker, “The Evolving Regulatory Landscape of Virtual Currencies and Blockchain Technology from the Regulatory Agencies’ Perspective,” University of San Francisco Law Review Symposium, San Francisco, January 2019
  • Speaker, “Blockchain Industry and the Banking Industry,” Western Bankers Association, Webinar, October 2018
  • Speaker, “Token Sales: Perspectives from Legal, Investment and Startups,” BlockCon, Santa Monica, October 2018
  • Speaker, “Blockchain Innovation and Opportunity,” ABA Blockchain Technology, Digital Currency, and ICO National Institute, New York, April 2018
  • Speaker, Draper University Executive Blockchain Program, San Mateo, CA, April 2018
  • Panelist, “Raising Capital in an ICO World: Dissecting the Value of New Fundraising Opportunities,” Goodwin & Fintech Sandbox Hosted Panel Discussion, San Francisco, March 2018
  • Speaker, Yahoo! Finance All Markets Summit – Crypto, New York, February 2018
  • Speaker, “Legal Considerations for Token Generation Events in 2018,” World Crypto Economic Forum, San Francisco, January 2018

His recent publications include: