Ralph Dado is a partner in Kirkland's Chicago office. Ralph's practice spans white-collar criminal defense, government and internal investigations, monitorships, and high-stakes civil litigation. Ralph's experience includes significant work with the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.K. Bribery Act, the Title 31 / Anti-Money Laundering / Bank Secrecy Act regime, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, state consumer protection and insurance fraud laws, civil and criminal environmental laws, and import/export regimes.

Ralph's white-collar criminal defense and government investigations work often involves representations which are confidentially resolved without any adverse government enforcement action. Examples of his public representations include BP's criminal defense in the Department of Justice's investigation into the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Abbott Laboratories' defense in the Department's criminal-civil investigation into alleged violations of the False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, and Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act related to the marketing of Depakote. Ralph has defended investigations involving, among others, IRS-CI, SEC, DOJ, HHS-OIG, DHS, CDI, and numerous U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

Ralph also works in the areas of internal corporate investigations and court-ordered monitorships. Many of these investigations are successfully completed without public disclosure. As an example of a publicly disclosed investigation, Ralph was a principal member of the team responsible for the internal investigation of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. on behalf of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Valeant Board of Directors in response to public allegations of impropriety concerning Valeant’s relationship with Philidor and various accounting matters. As an example of a court-ordered monitorship, Ralph is presently working as a principal member of the team appointed as the monitor of Pacific Gas & Electric pursuant to an order of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California arising from PG&E’s 2016 conviction on certain charges brought in the aftermath of the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion.

Finally, Ralph's work encompasses high-stakes civil litigation, including extensive work in BP's Phase I MDL trial in the Eastern District of Louisiana arising out the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, representation of AbbVie in its Depakote state consumer protection litigation in Louisiana state court, representation of General Motors LLC on its national civil litigation team in response to litigation and investigations related to the recall of vehicle ignition switches and other parts, representation of the City of Chicago in its lead pipe water contamination litigation in Illinois state court, and representation of BP in Louisiana state court concerning personal injury claims allegedly associated with Deepwater Horizon spill response efforts.

Prior to joining Kirkland, Ralph worked from 2008–2011 as a principal researcher for Judge Richard Posner and Professor William Landes. His contributions to their work are acknowledged in books including The Behavior of Federal Judges: A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Rational Choice (Posner, Landes & Epstein, 2012); The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy (Posner, 2010); and A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent Into Depression (Posner, 2009) and articles including "Why (And When) Judges Dissent: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis" 3 J. Legal Analysis 101 (Posner, Landes & Epstein, 2011); "Rational Judicial Behavior: A Statistical Study" 1 J. Legal Analysis 775 (Posner & Landes, 2009); and "Uncertainty Aversion and Economic Depressions" 52 Challenge 25 (Posner, 2009).


Thought Leadership


The University of Chicago / Northwestern Joint Workshop on Judicial Behavior, Participant & Paper Author, 2008–2010

Georgetown University Liberal Arts Seminar, Participant, 2002–2003

Memberships & Affiliations

Member, Board of Advisors, Catholic Charities

Member, Union League Club of Chicago

Member, Omicron Delta Epsilon


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 2010Illinois


  • English
  • Latin


  • University of Chicago Law SchoolJ.D.2010
    Rex Lee Scholar
  • Georgetown UniversityB.A., Economics & Political Sciencemagna cum laude2006
    Degree Honors in Economics