Legal Ethics & Malpractice Defense

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RK&O has vast experience representing lawyers, multinational law firms and in-house legal departments in matters involving attorney conduct. Many prominent national law firms have turned to RK&O when their partners have been confronted with complicated legal and ethical challenges. We have particular expertise handling malpractice and other litigations, regulatory enforcement proceedings and criminal investigations arising out of complex commercial transactions as well as issues involving the financial services industry.

One of our partners sits on the First Department Disciplinary Committee; another partner has over two decades of experience drafting ethics opinions and serving on committees focused on improving the rules governing lawyer conduct. These roles give us a unique perspective when advising our clients and defending their interests. more +

Among others, we have handled matters involving:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Legal malpractice
  • Fraud
  • Aiding and abetting liability
  • Client conflicts
  • Issues relating to firm governance and management


  • Dismissal of all claims against former law firm partner in securities fraud litigation brought by the SEC.
  • Successful defense of law firm and lawyer in New York Attorney General’s Office investigation of aiding and abetting client’s financial fraud.
  • Successful defense of law firm in SDNY investigation of fraudulent tax shelters created and promoted by a partner of the firm.
  • Successful defense of law firm in SDNY investigation of client’s fraudulent venture capital operation.
  • Dismissal of claims against law firm and former partner where plaintiff alleged knowing submission of false declarations to prosecute a financial claim.
  • Successful defense of former General Counsel of Fortune 500 company in parallel DOJ, SEC and civil litigations focused on lawyer’s advice on corporate disclosures and insider stock sales.
  • Successful defense of lawyer sued over allegations relating to adequacy of disclosures in investor offering materials.
  • Achieved reversal of court order finding lawyer in contempt and referring lawyer for disciplinary proceedings.
  • Investigation and subsequent defense of law firms against breach of fiduciary duty claims arising from alleged breaches of advance conflict waivers.
  • Ongoing representation of Amlaw 25 law firm in New York State court lawsuit in which shareholders allege the firm and one of its partners aided and abetted the fraudulent sale of a majority interest in, and voting control over, a company to a group of investors.