By Stephen Joyce, Bloomberg BNA
Zachary Fardon, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, is rejoining his old law firm King & Spalding to open a Chicago office, its 10th in the United States.
Fardon, who resigned as U.S. Attorney in March after nearly three and a half years on the job, started his career at the Atlanta-founded firm as an associate in the 1990s in its Washington, D.C. office.
“Many of the same lawyers who helped raise me as a young lawyer and I befriended as a young lawyer are still here,” he said.
Fardon considered returning to Latham or joining another established Chicago law office, he said, but ultimately chose King & Spalding because of his history there.
In rejoining the firm, Fardon will attempt to build out a Chicago office from scratch although he said he has no immediate hiring targets and acknowledged growing the office will take time.
“Having said that, we’re there to grow and we are already in the process of looking at lateral opportunities and will continue to down that path,” he said.
His own practice will initially focus on internal investigations and some trial work.
Firms such as Kirkland & Ellis, Sidley Austin, Mayer Brown, Jenner & Block, and Winston & Strawn already are well established in Chicago, and opening another BigLaw office in Chicago is “very daunting, no question,” he said.
Nevertheless, he thinks King & Spalding can carve out its own existence. “I am imminently confident there is space for King & Spalding to come in and succeed, not to the exclusion of those other great firms,” he said.
It will be King & Spalding’s 20th office around the globe, and 10th in the U.S. The firm intends to join DLA Piper, Polsinelli PC, McDermott Will & Emery, and Michael Best & Friedrich and operate from offices in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.
After work as a King & Spalding associate Fardon entered public service, first as a state public defender in Nashville and then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago.
He joined Latham in 2007 and left after six years when he was nominated and confirmed to become the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He resigned in March following the election of President Donald Trump.
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