Legal Ethics & Malpractice Defense

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RK&O has more than 25 years of experience representing lawyers, multinational law firms and in-house legal departments in claims involving attorney conduct. We have a particular expertise on matters that arise out of criminal investigations, regulatory enforcement and civil litigation in the financial services industry.   more +

The issues that our clients face in these matters are unique and complex, as attorneys face different conduct and ethics standards in regulatory and criminal investigations. With extensive knowledge in criminal law and regulatory enforcement matters, our attorneys are uniquely qualified to guide our clients through the hair-raising and often competing issues that attorneys and firms face in the execution of their business, and during any internal investigation of potential misconduct. Our expertise includes:

  • Client conflicts
  • Disclosure of privileged information
  • Reporting obligations
  • Aiding and abetting
  • Fraud
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Firm governance and management issues

We take a holistic approach to these matters, focusing on the immediate problem at hand and anticipating issues that may arise in the future. We also advise our clients on adopting safe guards and procedures that will help them steer clear of potential liabilities.

We are creative, discerning lawyers with the depth of experience to know when and how to press our arguments in different areas. We also are a firm of high integrity, exemplified by one of our firm founders sitting on the First Department Disciplinary Committee and another partner having more than two decades of experience drafting opinions addressing legal ethics issues. This gives us significant credibility when advocating for our clients.  


  • An international law firm in malpractice case based on separate and distinct representations of adverse clients.
  • An international law firm in a New York Attorney General investigation of possible fraud and breach of fiduciary duty by a not-for-profit client, and defending the law firm against possible aiding and abetting and legal malpractice claims.
  • A multinational law firm in the investigation and criminal prosecution of lawyers and accounting firm professionals for engaging in a conspiracy to promote fraudulent tax shelters.
  • A multinational law firm in a federal criminal investigation of a fraudulent investment scheme involving one of the law firm’s clients.
  • A large domestic law firm in connection with potential fraudulent billing by one of the law firm’s senior associates.
  • A lawyer in connection with a disciplinary complaint filed against another lawyer involving various allegations of professional misconduct.
  • A lawyer in a civil action involving allegations of discrimination and retaliation.
  • A lawyer in a disciplinary proceeding involving submitting a false court filing.
  •  A practice group in connection with its departure from a firm that subsequently entered bankruptcy protection.