- New York
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, and District of Columbia Circuits
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Rahul Rao is an associate in Morgan Lewis's Litigation Practice. Mr. Rao concentrates his practice on all aspects of complex civil and criminal litigation, with a focus on securities and white-collar defense. He primarily represents banks, broker-dealers, investment advisors, trust companies, and their executives and directors.
Mr. Rao has represented clients in all levels of state and federal courts, and before the Securities and Exchange Commission, self-regulatory organizations, and arbitration bodies. He has argued before trial and appellate courts, drafted trial motions and appellate briefs, prepared and defended depositions, participated in mediations and arbitrations, managed discovery, prepared trial witness testimony, and participated in settlement negotiations. In addition to litigation and regulatory enforcement defense, Mr. Rao has experience conducting internal examinations, providing crisis management, and regularly advises clients on enhancements of business practices.
Mr. Rao was part of the team that defended an accused tipper held without bail in the first "expert network" criminal insider trading prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office brought to trial in the Southern District of New York.
Mr. Rao has also engaged in pro bono work. Specifically, he has counseled amici curiae in two capital cases before U.S. Supreme Court; was lead counsel in matters before the D.C. Court of Appeals and U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and first chair for two trials before the D.C. Superior Court. Most recently, Mr. Rao obtained a trial victory on behalf of 11 U.S. veterans who were the target of a landlord's improper attempts at eviction.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Mr. Rao was a senior litigation associate in the Washington, D.C. office of a major international law firm. Prior to that, Mr. Rao served as a judicial clerk to Chief Judge Eric T. Washington of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Mr. Rao received his J.D., with honors, from George Washington University Law School in 2005, where he was a Thurgood Marshall Scholar. While in law school, Mr. Rao participated in the D.C. Law Students in Court Clinic, where he represented indigent individuals accused of misdemeanors in the D.C. Superior Court. He also participated in the Public Justice Advocacy Clinic, and taught civics and government to grade school students through the Street Law program. Mr. Rao received his B.A. in economics from Villanova University in 2001, where he was the recipient of the university's Adam Smith Award in economics.
Mr. Rao is currently admitted to practice in New York, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, and District of Columbia Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Note: Some of the matters listed below were completed prior to joining Morgan Lewis.
Securities and White Collar Defense
- Defended an individual accused of criminal insider trading charges in the first "expert network" prosecution brought to trial in the Southern District of New York.
- Served as lead associate in the coordinated industry defense of broker-dealer firms under investigation by SRO for violating rules purportedly precluding use of certain arbitration provisions in their employment agreements with registered financial advisers.
- Defended clients in a number of federal investigations, including matters involving financial and accounting fraud, self-dealing, hedge fund asset valuation, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Led internal investigation of a hedge fund with ties to a former partner then under investigation for operating a multiyear Ponzi scheme involving hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Provided legal crisis management regarding violations of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions programs.
- Managed and conducted internal investigations, including witness interviews and records collection, for clients facing or under threat of government inquiry.
- Part of a national team advising an institutional client on overhaul of all internal procedures and controls for compliance with developments in relevant laws and regulations.
Complex Commercial Litigation
- Managed defense and obtained numerous dismissals on dispositive motions for residential mortgage-backed securitizations trustee and trusts in connection with purported class actions filed in state and federal courts by mortgage loan borrowers asserting that the trustees lacked standing to enforce notes and mortgages that had been securitized, violated of federal securities laws, and violated state fraud laws.
- Lead associate in the defense of an investment bank in simultaneous, multi-forum investor class actions challenging disclosures and fairness of transaction price associated with merger.
- Represented a financial advisor against aiding and abetting claim in an investor class action challenging the fairness opinion and analysis of the proposed merger of advisor's client.
- Served as lead associate in the successful resolution of one of the largest putative class actions against the automobile insurance industry involving civil conspiracy and common law fraud claims.
- Drafted successful motions to dismiss a multiyear, multibillion-dollar class action alleging violations of federal antitrust and administrative laws regarding online tax filing services.
- Drafted series of motions achieving removal of 15 simultaneous and separately filed state court actions to federal district courts, subsequent transfers to a single federal bankruptcy court, and eventual dismissal with prejudice of matters concerning commodities at issue in federal bankruptcy action.
- Argued an appeal before the D.C. Court of Appeals regarding the complex issue of Court's subject matter jurisdiction.
- Drafted an amici curiae brief supporting petitioners seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of circuit court decision implicating the intersection of two federal environmental laws.
- Co-drafted a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on a First Amendment issue involving the confluence of religion and public school athletics programs.
- George Washington University Law School, 2005, J.D., With Honors
- Villanova University, 2001, B.A.