King & Spalding opens in Chicago with 'marquee hire'

King & Spalding is to open an office in Chicago, headed up by former US attorney Zachary Fardon.


The new office, King & Spalding’s 20th globally and 10th in the US, expands the firm’s international platform into the Midwest with a particular focus on government investigations, related commercial litigation, and work across the financial services and life sciences sectors.  

Marquee hire

Zachary Fardon was until recently US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and has joined the firm as a partner. He will serve as the managing partner and head of litigation of the new office. The Chicago office expects to add additional lawyers in the near term and open a permanent location in the West Loop in September. 'Zach is a marquee hire who continues the long tradition at King & Spalding of returning from public practice to build successful litigation and investigations practices at the firm,' said Robert Hays, chairman of King & Spalding. 'Chicago has been a target for our disputes and transactional practices for some time. We are thrilled to have a decorated lawyer like Zach— with a team-first mentality and entrepreneurial spirit — leading our efforts to build a permanent presence in the region. 


Mr Fardon began his career at King & Spalding in Washington DC. He left to serve as state public defender in Nashville,then Assistant US Attorney in Chicago and First Assistant US Attorney in Nashville. He joined Latham & Watkins in 2007, eventually chairing its litigation department in Chicago for three years before he left to serve as US Attorney in Chicago (2013-2017). In that role, Fardon led and managed more than 300 employees. 

Health practice

Andy Bayman, co-head of the firm’s Healthcare and Life Sciences practice commented, 'Chicago has been an important strategic focus of our FDA, Medical Device and Life Sciences lawyers for many years, as the home base to so many leading players in the sector, including a number of our existing clients. Zach is a special and unique talent, who will be an immediate resource for our life sciences clients, and we are delighted to help him grow the Chicago office.'


King & Spalding most recently reported over $1 billion in revenue, more than 1,000 lawyers worldwide and $2.5 million profits per partner.

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