Rachael G. Pontikes Photo
Rachael is a partner in the Life Sciences Health Industry Group and practices in the Chicago office of Reed Smith. She counsels compounding pharmacies, in both human and animal health, regarding compliance with various applicable state and federal law. She also acts as litigation counsel for compounding pharmacies in disputes with the state boards of pharmacy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in administrative proceedings and federal courts.


  • University of Chicago Law School, 2001, J.D.
  • Wesleyan University, 1996, B.A., Philosophy and Italian Studies, with honors, Phi Beta Kappa

  • Illinois

  • State Supreme Court - Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Eleventh Circuit
  • Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

  • American Bar Association, Section of International Law
  • Chicago Bar Association: Alliance for Women and Executive Committee, 2009-present; Co-chair, Mentoring Circles Committee, 2009-2012; Co-Chair, Advocacy and Domestic Violence Committee, 2012-present
  • Hellenic Bar Association
  • University of Chicago Women's Mentoring Program
  • Executive Committee, Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women
  • Board member, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation
  • Co-founded the mentoring circles program of the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women, the largest mentoring program for women attorneys in Chicago
  • Lecturer in law at the University of Chicago, where she teaches a seminar entitled "Obscenity and Pop Culture," drawing on her experience as trial counsel for two groups of minor girls who brought civil suit based on allegations they were sexually exploited when featured in child pornography

  • English
  • Greek
  • Italian

Awards & Recognition

  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers list for Business Litigation, 2014-2016, 2019-2020
  • Selected to the Rising Stars list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2012-2013
  • One of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” in 2013
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, 2013

Notable Quotes

  • 29 July 2015 "Order Vacates Conviction Under Trafficking-Victims Act" Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
  • 2014 “The Regulation of Pharmacy Compounding: FDA Authority and the Compounding Quality Act of 2013” Food and Drug Law Institute Primer
  • 30 April 2013 "Compounding Bill May Hand FDA New Power Over Health Care" Law360
  • March/April 2013 "FDA Authority Over Compounding Pharmacy" FDLI Update
  • 10 November 2011 "Lawyers See Challenges in Cross-Border Disputes" Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
  • March 2011 "Q&A: Rachael Pontikes" by Olivia Clarke, The Chicago Lawyer
  • 1 February 2011 "Panel: Girls in 'Wild' video to remain anonymous" Bloomberg Businessweek