Assistant US Attorney William Ridgway Joins Skadden in Chicago

William E. Ridgway

Skadden is pleased to announce that William Ridgway, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and deputy chief of the office's National Security and Cybercrimes Section, has joined the firm's litigation practice in the Chicago office. Mr. Ridgway's practice will focus on cybersecurity matters, as well as white collar crime and intellectual property litigation.

Mr. Ridgway joined the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois in 2008 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, working closely with former U.S. Attorney and current Skadden partner Patrick Fitzgerald. In April 2014, Mr. Ridgway was promoted to deputy chief of the National Security and Cybercrimes Section. In this role, he oversaw and managed all of the office's cybercrime, data breach and intellectual property cases. Mr. Ridgway also served the U.S. Attorney's Office as the national security cyber specialist and the computer hacking and intellectual property coordinator.

In his eight years as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Ridgway tried numerous cases and handled a wide range of high-profile cybercrime and intellectual property cases, including the prosecution of an international cybercrime ring responsible for stealing over $100 million, as well as prosecutions of the leaders of two prominent hacking groups for hundreds of cyberattacks that targeted businesses, nonprofits and government bodies around the globe. Mr. Ridgway also led the prosecution of the operators of one of the world's largest online piracy rings. Other notable matters include several national security cases, as well as prosecutions of a prominent Chicago restaurateur for a multimillion-dollar fraud, a leader of the Mexican Zetas cartel and his associates for money laundering, and an international document fraud ring for racketeering and murder.

Mr. Ridgway also argued a number of important cases on appeal, including widely followed appeals involving matters of national security and the First Amendment.

"We are so pleased that Bill has joined our team. His experience as a federal prosecutor, handling high-profile and complex matters, complements our diverse Litigation Group," said Chicago litigation practice head Chuck Smith.

Skadden litigation partner Patrick Fitzgerald said, "Bill is a superb lawyer with tremendous experience dealing with the expanding legal issues relating to cybersecurity. Bill was entrusted at the U.S. Attorney's Office with both important trials and appeals and with providing advice on sensitive matters of cybersecurity and national security. Given that experience and his engineering background, he is very well-positioned to serve the needs of our clients."

"I am thrilled to be part of one of the nation's top litigation practices. I have been very impressed with the depth and breadth of the experience of the Chicago Litigation Group and I look forward to working across the firm's global platform to advise clients on the complex and evolving legal challenges raised by cybersecurity and data privacy," said Mr. Ridgway.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Ridgway served as a law clerk for Judge Vaughn R. Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and for Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he served on the Stanford Law Review. Since 2011, Mr. Ridgway has been a lecturer in law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches a class on cybercrime.