Grant Fondo, an experienced federal prosecutor and former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of California, is head of the Litigation Department for Goodwin’s California offices, founder and Co-Chair of its Digital Currency & Blockchain Technology practice, and a partner in the firm's Securities Litigation & White Collar Defense group, and in its Privacy & Cybersecurity practice. He represents technology, Fintech, blockchain, digital currency, private equity, and venture capital clients in a wide range of regulatory and contested matters. Mr. Fondo is recognized by Chambers USA for his White Collar Defense practice, recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. for Financial Services Litigation, White Collar Defense, and Fintech, by U.S. News Best Lawyers for his White Collar Defense work, and by Benchmark Litigation as a “Future Star” litigator. He has been selected 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, and has been recognized as a National Law Journal Trailblazer in both White Collar and Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech. Mr. Fondo was also recently included as one of 12 global “Spotlighted” legal experts for Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies in this year’s Chambers Professional Advisors - Fintech guide. Mr. Fondo is also a member of the Government of Bermuda's Global Fintech Advisory Board, relating to blockchain technology.

Mr. Fondo has significant experience conducting trials and arbitrations, as well as representing clients before governmental agencies. He focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, blockchain and digital currency, class action and securities litigation, federal and state regulatory matters including before the DOJ, SEC, FTC, State Attorneys General, District Attorneys, and FinCEN; cybersecurity and privacy matters, internal investigations, and commercial disputes.





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; Mr. Fondo successfully defended Ashish Aggarwal at the criminal trial, obtaining an acquittal on all 30 counts. The SEC matter is ongoing
  • Representing a former CEO against criminal charges of securities fraud and wire fraud in the SDNY relating to the sale of digital assets.
  • Representing domestic and international companies and executives in response to SEC and DOJ investigations relating to initial coin offerings (ICOs)
  • Representing the former CEO of a major U.S. bank in civil class action and derivative litigation and regulatory investigations
  • Representing a lawyer in a DOJ criminal tax investigation
  • Representing the Tezos Foundation in a class action pending in the Northern District of California
  • Representing blockchain and digital currency clients from the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, London, and Switzerland in regulatory matters
  • Representing a former board member of a public company in regards to an insider trading investigation by the SEC
  • Representing a former executive of a public company in a Bank Secrecy Act investigation
  • Representing the CEO of a heathcare company in criminal proceedings

Mr. Fondo’s recent matters include:

  • Represented two former executives in an SEC and DOJ investigation relating to alleged securities fraud, with no action taken
  • Represented Coinbase in IRS v. Coinbase in the Northern District of California
  • Successful defense at 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 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Salman v. United States lowered the bar for prosecutors in insider trading cases.
  • Represented the former CEO of a company in a criminal investigation in the Northern District of California, with no action taken
  • Successfully obtained the dismissal of two federal RICO lawsuits filed against a former CEO of a major U.S. bank
  • Led an internal investigation for a public company relating to insider trading
  • Represented a digital currency exchange in obtaining the first civil order in which a federal court custodied digital currency
  • 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 shortly 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 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
  • 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 and 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
  • After receipt of a draft complaint and consent order, successfully persuaded the FTC to drop its claim of false and misleading representations regarding our client's privacy policy, 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
Professional Activities

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, 2011-2015

He is also a board member and founding member of the Digital Currency and Defense Ledger, and a member of The Government of Bermuda's Global Fintech Advisory Board.

His volunteer work includes being on the Board of Directors of the Los Alto-Mountain View PONY Youth Baseball League. He is also a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Professional Experience

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.

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 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.


Grant Fondo is recognized for his White Collar Defense and Fintech: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies work by Chambers USA, which has highlighted his “highly specialized expertise in enforcement actions brought against digital currency companies,” and notes that he is “very impressive,” and “a future leader of the bar.” Chambers further recognized him as one of 12 global “spotlighted” legal experts for Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies in Chambers Professional Advisors – Fintech guide. He is also recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. for White Collar Defense, Financial Services Litigation and Fintech, recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “future star” litigator, by U.S. News Best Lawyers for his White Collar Defense work, and is listed in the Global Investigations Review 100, a guide to the world’s leading firms for corporate investigations. In 2017, Mr. Fondo was selected as The American Lawyer's “Litigator of the Week” 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. In 2015, Mr. Fondo was one of 50 attorneys in the United States recognized by National Law Journal as a White Collar Trailblazer. He was recognized by National Law Journal again in 2018, as a Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer.

In The News









J.D., 1993
University of Virginia School of Law
(Omicron Delta Kappa - National Honor Society)
B.A., 1990
University of Vermont
(cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta - National History Honor Society)





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
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