Representative Matters

Vaishali Rao focuses her practice in Consumer Financial Services with particular emphasis in regulation & compliance. She brings her long history of experience in government regulatory and law enforcement actions to bear in the defense of her clients.

Professional Background

Prior to joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in January 2017, Ms. Rao for eight years devoted her practice to public service in the Consumer Fraud Bureau of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, and as an Assistant Counsel to Speaker Michael J. Madigan in the Illinois House of Representatives.

During the latter part of Ms. Rao's tenure at the Attorney General's Office, she led a national group of state Attorneys General in investigating student loan origination, servicing and debt collection practices, coordinating closely with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Ms. Rao has led and coordinated national investigations and litigations in several financial services areas, including: credit ratings, debt settlement, and mortgage servicing.

Notably, Ms. Rao contributed to negotiations in the National Mortgage Settlement. She led the Attorney General's litigation team in People of the State of Illinois v. The McGraw-Hill Companies & Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC, 12 CH 02535.

Ms. Rao has been involved in all phases of a regulatory investigation, from the issuance of a subpoena to leading a litigation team, ensuring compliance with complex court orders involving implementation of specific business practices, and settling the issues in dispute.

In addition to her work in the financial services sector, Ms. Rao has developed an expertise in investigations and litigations related to the marketing and promotion of pharmaceutical products, drugs and medical devices.

Ms. Rao has concentrated her career on matters involving state and federal consumer protection laws around the country, most notably: The Illinois Consumer Fraud & Deceptive Trade Practices Act and corollary state unfair, deceptive or abusive trade practices laws ("UDAAP"), The Federal Trade Commission Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank Act").

Besides working closely with State Attorneys General across the country, Ms. Rao has worked jointly with other local, state and federal agencies, including: The City of Chicago, Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, Illinois Department of Public Health, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the United States Department of Justice.   

As Assistant Counsel in the Illinois House of Representatives, Ms. Rao assisted in the impeachment trial of former Illinois Governor, Rod R. Blagojevich. She also managed and analyzed legal issues for members of the House of Representatives, including assisting them with presentation and defense of bills on the House floor and in Committee. 

Ms. Rao served a series of clerkships in both the public and private sectors in Chicago and New York, and was a chancery judicial extern to The Honorable Jesse G. Reyes, Circuit Court of Cook County (now an Appellate Judge, First District, 5th Division.)

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Chair of the Regulatory & Compliance Committee (2017–2018)
    • Chair of the Consumer Law Committee (2014–2015)
    • Vice Chair of the Consumer Law Committee (2013–2014)
  • The John Marshall Law School Jobs Advisory Council, Government Committee Chair (2013–2014)

Representative Matters

  • Represent lender in developing disclosures and compliance structures for private student loan product
  • Led multi-state investigation into nation's largest student loan servicer and associated bank (represented the People through the Illinois Attorney General)
  • Represent companies against consumer regulatory bodies, including Attorneys General, city departments of consumer affairs or protection, and state departments of financial regulation
  • Contributed to negotiations in National Mortgage Settlement (represented the People through Illinois Attorney General)
  • Participate in and respond to CFPB supervisory examinations
  • Represent companies in responding to consumer complaints made to regulatory agencies, including complaints to the CFPB
  • Advise lenders on FCRA matters  
  • Represent investors and servicers in responding to qualified written requests
  • Prepare compliance plan as it relates to data security and data breach protocols
  • Advise companies in responding to data breach scenarios
  • People of the State of Illinois v. The McGraw-Hill Companies & Standard & Poor's (represented the People through Illinois Attorney General)
  • Investigation and settlement with Moody's Investor Service (represented the People through Illinois Attorney General)
  • People of the State of Illinois v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP (represented the People through Illinois Attorney General)
  • People of the State of Illinois v. Bayer Healthcare (represented the People through Illinois Attorney General)


  • "What's Certain in Uncertain Times? Implications on Consumer Finance in Trump's first 173 days," Hinshaw University, Chicago, Illinois, July 2017.
  • "Fair Lending & Fair Servicing Developments in Student Loans," National Council of Higher Education Resources, Alexandria, Virginia, July 2017.
  • "Regulatory Round-Up" Part I: State Efforts Impacting Student Loan Servicing and Collections," The National Council of Higher Education Resources Spring Convention, Clearwater Beach, Florida, June 7, 2017.

  • "Student Loans: The Next Financial Crisis?," CBA Consumer Law Committee, Chicago, Illinois, April 2014.

  • "National Foreclosure and Mortgage Servicing Settlement," Chicago Bar Association, Legal Aid Committee, Chicago, Illinois, March 2013.
  • "National Foreclosure and Mortgage Servicing Settlement," City of Chicago City Council, Chicago, Illinois, June 2012.
  • Keynote Speaker, American Conference Institute, Food and Drug Policy, Chicago, Illinois, December 2011.
  • "Mortgage Rescue Fraud in Application," National Consumer Law Center, November 2011.
  • "Fraud: The Attorney Model," National Organization of Bar Examiners, October 2011.


Hinshaw Publications


Ms. Rao is the founder of the Chicago Bar Association's Regulatory & Compliance committee. 

Ms. Rao co-founded SAPNA Magazine, an e-zine for South Asian American women. She served as the magazine's Strategy Director for six years.

She was the Founder and first Chair of The John Marshall Law School's Diversity Affairs Committee.

J.D., The John Marshall Law School, 2008

B.S., magna cum laude, Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh, 2005

B.A., magna cum laude, Communications, University of Pittsburgh, 2005