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

H. Rowan Gaither IV

F:  917.344.8807

Overview

H. Rowan Gaither IV has been litigating complex civil cases for more than twenty years, representing investment banks, inter-dealer brokers, investment funds, major international corporations and senior officers and directors of public companies in federal and state courts around the country. His cases often involve cutting-edge legal issues relating to financial benchmarks, securities, derivatives, commodities and other complex financial products. more +

RK&O’s clients regularly rely on Mr. Gaither’s experience and legal creativity when faced with antitrust, RICO, CEA, breach of fiduciary duty and complex contractual matters, and in particular disputes over transactions involving illiquid financial instruments. Corporations and individuals also turn to Mr. Gaither in investigations brought by the SEC and other regulatory organizations.

Mr. Gaither is co-chair of RK&O’s Litigation Department, which has been praised by clients for “high-quality work, strong strategic thinking and pleasant lawyers.” He has also been personally recognized as a “key contact for clients” by Chambers USA and a “fantastic lawyer” by Legal 500.

Experience

  • Inter-dealer brokers and affiliates in the defense of antitrust, RICO, and Commodity Exchange Act claims brought in multiple federal court proceedings by plaintiffs alleging manipulation of financial benchmarks including ISDAFIX, Yen LIBOR, Swiss Libor, Euribor and the Australian BBSW benchmark. Mr. Gaither is also involved in the defense of claims brought in a Dutch class action proceeding in the Netherlands alleging manipulation of multiple IBOR benchmarks.
  • Banks and investment funds in actions triggered by broken trades for the transfer of distressed debt, one of which generated a key precedent governing how New York courts consider breach damages in illiquid markets.
  • An investment fund in a breach of contract action brought against the Republic of Argentina for failure to pay millions of dollars owed on GDP-linked warrants that were issued as part of a restructuring of Argentina’s debt.
  • A fund focusing on publicly traded emerging growth companies in two parallel injunctive proceedings brought in federal court after an issuer disputed the terms of convertible preferred shares purchased by the client.
  • An Argentine sports marketing company in the defense of antitrust, RICO and Florida unfair trade practices claims brought by a competitor and concerning the alleged bribery of South American soccer officials. The antitrust and Florida state-law claims were dismissed at the pleading stage.
  • 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. The case involved complicated issues of fiduciary duties owed under Cayman and New York law.
  • 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.
  • A private equity fund in the defense of claims that followed a Delaware short-form merger and that involved allegations of fraudulent transfers and breaches of fiduciary duties owed under California and Delaware law. Summary judgment was granted in favor of the firm’s client at the close of discovery.
  • A major investment bank in the prosecution of bankruptcy claims filed after the rejection of multi-million-dollar tax leases. The case involved a novel interplay between the Bankruptcy Code and tax and GAAP accounting.
  • An airplane manufacturer in defense of a 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.
  • 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 claims brought against the counsel in actions filed by the SEC and a bankruptcy trustee. The SEC declined to amend its complaint and reassert its claims against the client after they were dismissed by the Court.

Honors & Awards

  • Named a Notable Practitioner for General Commercial Litigation in New York by Chambers USA (2020)
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States in the area of General Commercial Disputes (2016-2020) and Securities Litigation (2017-2020)
  • Selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a New York Super Lawyer in General Litigation, Civil Litigation Defense and Antitrust Litigation (2013-2020) 

News

Presentations

Publications

Practice Areas
Clerkship(s)
  • Honorable Ronald R. Lagueux, United States District Court, District of Rhode Island
Education
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1995
  • Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1988
Bar & Court Admissions
  • New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • 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