Natalie Hardwick Rao represents clients in high-stakes white collar investigations and criminal defense matters across a number of regulatory regimes, including government-facing and internal corporate investigations, and congressional inquiries.

Ms. Rao approaches each matter with fact-finding prowess and forward-thinking strategy to defend individuals and leading corporations in investigations involving the Department of Justice (DOJ), congressional committees, and other government agencies.

She leverages her experience as a former military analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency to advise clients on these matters, while identifying risk and developing strategies to achieve successful resolutions.

Ms. Rao also counsels large companies across multiple industries on compliance with anti-corruption laws, including developing, implementing, and enhancing corporate compliance programs. She also frequently advises clients in connection with cross-border M&A and capital markets transactions, including pre-acquisition due diligence.

Ms. Rao maintains an active pro bono practice, including securing federal sentencing relief for Cory Maples, an Alabama death row inmate whose original lawyers abandoned him, as part of the team that received the firm’s 2022 Robert M. Dell Prize for Extraordinary Pro Bono Service.

She formerly served as a member of the firm’s Training & Career Enhancement (TACE) Committee, which develops and oversees in-house training and mentoring programs for associates.

Ms. Rao’s representative experience includes advising:

  • A company and its partners in connection with investigations by congressional intelligence committees and the DOJ
  • Multiple healthcare companies in DOJ investigations related to alleged violations of the False Claims Act
  • Multiple global technology companies in resolutions before the DOJ and Securities and Exchange Commission related to alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • A multinational oil company in a DOJ investigation related to alleged violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act

Bar Qualification

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia


  • JD, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, 2011
    Order of the Coif
  • AB, Duke University, 2005