H. Rowan Gaither IV, Richards Kibbe & Orbe attorney photo

H. Rowan Gaither IV

F:  917.344.8807


H. Rowan Gaither IV is a co-chair of the Litigation Department at Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP. Mr. Gaither is a trusted advisor to leading investment banks, hedge funds, major international corporations and senior officers and directors of public companies. He represents clients in securities, derivatives, commodities and other complex financial products litigation in federal and state courts around the country. He often represents the firm’s corporate clients when transactions involving exotic financial instruments or complex investments trigger disputes with counter-parties. Additionally, he defends corporations and individuals in investigations brought by the SEC and self-regulatory organizations, which often involve parallel regulatory and civil proceedings. more +

Mr. Gaither’s docket regularly includes civil litigations, arbitrations and mediations arising out of the capital markets and financial services industries. He has litigated commercial disputes over contract, tort, antitrust and intellectual property claims, as well as creditors' rights and bankruptcy-related proceedings. Mr. Gaither also advises clients in connection with broken trades in the distressed debt and claims trading markets and provides advice on litigation risks and arbitrage opportunities.


  • An interdealer broker and its affiliates in the defense of Commodity Exchange Act, antitrust and aiding and abetting claims brought in multiple federal court proceedings by plaintiffs alleging manipulation of financial benchmarks, including Yen LIBOR.  The interdealer broker was dismissed from the principal action on personal jurisdiction grounds.
  • The operator of an alternative trading system (dark pool) in connection with an SEC investigation into whether client confidential information was improperly accessed.  The investigation resulted in a settled administrative proceeding on terms that were favorable for the client.
  • A former counsel to Chinese companies that accessed the U.S. capital markets via reverse mergers and subsequent listings on the NASDAQ in the defense of ongoing claims brought against the counsel in actions filed by the SEC and a bankruptcy trustee.
  • Individual defendants in the defense of Securities Act and related state securities law claims in actions brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and a major insurer and arising out of the purchase of billions of dollars in residential mortgage-backed securities issued in the mid-2000s. The claims were settled on highly favorable terms for our clients.
  • Numerous clients in connection with litigations arising out of distressed-loan, debt or bond transactions that collapsed after disputes arose over the corresponding obligations of the parties. In one instance, Mr. Gaither represented a major investment bank in a state-court litigation triggered by the termination of an agreement to purchase a distressed loan originally made to an Enron-related vehicle. Appeals taken during the matter resulted in a significant clarification of New York's law concerning damages available in the context of broken trades of distressed loans. Mr. Gaither deployed those precedents in a later dispute over the transfer of LLC units in order to attack plaintiffs’ damages and achieve an early, favorable settlement.
  • An airplane manufacturer in defense of multi-billion dollar litigation brought by World Trade Center leaseholder claiming damages arising out of 9/11 attacks. Damages claims were reduced to $3.5 billion after a series of summary judgment motions and to zero after federal-court bench trial.
  • A limited partner in a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership that was established by Raj Rajaratnam prior to his conviction for insider trading and other violations of U.S. federal securities laws. Claims against the general partner and ultimate general partner asserting breaches of the limited partnership agreement and of fiduciary duties under Cayman law were successfully upheld at the motion to dismiss stage.
  • A monoline insurer in the defense of antitrust and common-law claims brought by California municipalities and non-profits in connection with municipal bond issuances in that state. The client was dismissed from the action after the antitrust claim was successfully challenged under California's Anti-SLAPP statute.
  • A private equity investor in the defense of fraudulent-transfer and common-law claims attacking a Delaware short-form merger and related going-private transaction. Summary judgment was entered in favor of the client before trial.
  • An integrated-circuit manufacturer in federal court litigation over the alleged breach of a non-disclosure agreement and claimed loss of millions of dollars in profits. The matter was settled on terms favorable to the client after plaintiff's damages theory was successfully rebutted at trial.
  • The former chief executive officer and chief financial officer of a bankrupt insurer in an action in which a Chapter 7 trustee brought $80 million in claims against them and several of the insurer's advisers, directors and major shareholders. The principal claims against the client were dismissed at the pleading stage.
  • A multibillion-dollar fund in a two-stage arbitration involving claims by a former senior executive seeking a profits interest in investments the fund had made in Japan.
  • The former chief executive officer and chief financial officer of a bankrupt vacation-ownership-interval company in a federal court action brought by a litigation trustee asserting breaches of fiduciary duties and in related bankruptcy and insurance-coverage actions.

Honors & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States in the area of General Commercial Disputes (2016-2019) and Securities Litigation (2017-2019). 
  • Selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a New York Super Lawyer in General Litigation, Civil Litigation Defense and Antitrust Litigation (2013-2018) 




Practice Areas
  • Honorable Ronald R. Lagueux, United States District Court, District of Rhode Island
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1995
  • Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1988
Bar & Court Admissions
  • New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Western District of New York