King & Spalding has appointed Ross W. Nadel, a veteran Bay Area federal prosecutor, as a partner of its special matters and government investigations practice.

Nadel will start his job with Spalding from January 2011. He will divide his time between the firm's offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley and focus on areas of securities fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, off-label promotion and healthcare fraud, and criminal antitrust and cartel matters.

Nadel received a J.D. degree from Santa Clara University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Crown College.

With more than 25 years' experience of distinguished service at the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California, plus additional work in private and corporate practice, Ross has a reputation as one of the most respected government investigation practitioners in the Bay Area, said Christopher A. Wray, chair of King & Spalding's special matters and government investigations practice.

The knowledge, experience and skill he brings with him will anchor and significantly expand our government investigations and white-collar criminal defense footprint onto the West Coast, Wray said.

In his career at the San Francisco U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nadel held numerous high-level management positions, including Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief of the San Jose Branch Office and Chief of the Economics Crimes Unit.

As chief of the computer hacking and intellectual property unit, he implemented the first unit in any U.S. Attorney's Office dedicated to investigating and prosecuting computer hacking and intellectual property cases.

While at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Nadel has tried more than 70 cases, in which the most high-profile cases he supervised were the conviction of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko in the first prosecution of a foreign political leader for laundering the proceeds of foreign crimes involving political corruption, fraud and extortion through U.S. financial institutions; and the highly publicized long-term investigation and prosecution of the distribution of steroids in the professional sports world, known as the BALCO case.

Nadel also oversaw some of the biggest securities fraud cases ever pursued in the Bay Area and a number of groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries as well as the high technology industry in Silicon Valley.

In June 2005, Nadel accepted an early retirement package and took a break before joining Cooley as partner in March 2006. He left Cooley in 2008 and took a position with Adobe Systems Incorporated as senior legal counsel for worldwide anti-piracy. Since leaving Adobe at the end of summer 2009, Nadel said he's spent time with his children, who are in high school and college, and mulled his next career move.

Having made the decision at this point in my career to return to a law firm to pursue a full-range government investigations and white-collar criminal defense practice, I cannot think of a better place to be than at King & Spalding, said Nadel.

King & Spalding's special matters and government investigations practice has a wealth of experience in successfully representing corporations and individuals in complex federal and state criminal investigations, internal investigations and Congressional investigations, as well as in related civil and regulatory proceedings.

Lawyers in this practice are recognized leaders in the field with decades of experience from the defense, prosecution, and SEC enforcement perspectives, including more than a dozen former federal prosecutors and other enforcement officials.