Image: Renato Mariotti

Renato Mariotti

Partner, Litigation Department


Phone: 1(312) 499-6005
Fax: 1(312) 499-6105


Renato Mariotti is a partner in the Investigations and White Collar Defense practice at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Chicago office. Renato is an accomplished trial attorney who focuses on complex high-stakes litigation, including private equity and hedge fund litigation, financial market manipulation, and cyber theft. Renato’s work includes defending companies and individuals in enforcement actions, conducting internal investigations, advising and advocating for clients in the digital asset and crypto space, and helping companies and individuals navigate challenging issues at the convergence of government investigations, civil litigation, and public relations.

Renato has tried and won more than 20 civil and criminal cases in federal and state court, including United States v. Jitesh Thakkar, the first-ever criminal case charging a non-trader with a form of market manipulation. After Renato's cross-examination of the government's star witness caused the witness to admit there was no conspiracy, the judge acquitted Mr. Thakkar of conspiracy, finding that no rational jury could find him guilty. When 10 out of 12 jurors voted for acquittal on the remaining counts, the Justice Department dismissed them shortly thereafter, resulting in complete acquittal for Mr. Thakkar.

Renato is a former federal prosecutor in the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section of the United States Attorney's Office. In that role, Renato was best known as the lead prosecutor in United States v. Michael Coscia, the nation's first federal prosecution of a high-frequency trader for order entry and the first prosecution nationwide under the anti-spoofing provision of the Dodd-Frank Act. This landmark case captured national headlines and signaled a new era of enforcement in computer-aided trading. After securing a first-of-its-kind indictment, Renato successfully defended the constitutionality of the spoofing and commodity fraud statutes. At the end of a lengthy trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict on all 12 counts after less than one hour of deliberation.

During his nine years at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Renato tried more than a dozen criminal trials and prosecuted a wide array of white-collar crimes, including commodities and securities fraud, spoofing, cybercrime, bank fraud, investor fraud, health care fraud, mortgage fraud, tax evasion and internet pharmaceutical sales. Renato also has briefed and argued numerous appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Seventh and Ninth Circuits.

Renato represents trading firms, Futures Commission Merchants, Introducing Brokers, advisors, commodity pool operators, banks, swap dealers, broker/dealers, hedge funds, and individuals in enforcement actions, litigation, arbitrations, investigations, and examinations, including government actions by the Department of Justice, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, NFA, FINRA, exchanges, and state regulators. Renato’s deep knowledge of the financial services industry helps him provide practical advice to clients, while his litigation and trial experience gives him an edge when negotiating a resolution or positioning a case for trial or arbitration.

Renato’s national securities litigation practice covers a diverse group of clients facing many types of financial-related governmental inquiries, including accounting irregularities, directors and officer liability, whistleblower allegations, board governance and oversight, and internal controls. Renato helps clients conduct internal investigations into allegations leveled by government agencies and whistleblowers, and helps firms develop and establish internal compliance programs.

Renato also has significant experience representing hospitals, pharmacies, and providers in enforcement matters involving civil False Claims Act litigation and parallel criminal investigations, the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law, and health care fraud. Recently, Renato successfully negotiated a resolution in a DOJ criminal investigation that avoided any felony conviction for his client despite multiple FBI raids of medical offices and a multi-year investigation by the FBI, HHS, and FDA.

Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, Renato practiced antitrust and securities litigation at a large law firm. He was part of the trial team in the then-largest civil antitrust class action in U.S. history involving antitrust tying claims brought by a nationwide class of merchants seeking a purported $100 billion. That case settled for $3 billion in an agreement that was negotiated on the morning the litigation was to go to trial. He also represented a Fortune 500 company in a Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court proceeding that extended the objective Brooke Group predatory pricing standard to "buy-side" cases.

Renato is an in-demand media source, legal analyst and commentator on major national news events. He was a CNN legal analyst and appears regularly on MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, ABC News, and PBS. He has been quoted in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine and The Washington Post. He was the Legal Affairs Columnist for POLITICO Magazine and has written for publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time magazine.


  • Yale Law School, J.D., 2002
  • University of Chicago, A.B., 1998

Engagement & Publications


  • Conservation Illinois, Board of Directors

Practice Areas

Investigations and White Collar Defense




Illinois Bar

California Bar


Yale Law School, J.D. 2002

The University of Chicago, A.B. 1998

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