1177 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

+1 212 715 9253

Local Litigation Star

National Practice Area Star

Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Practice area:

White collar crime

Gary P. Naftalis, co-chair of both the firm and its extensive litigation practice, is one of the nation’s leading trial lawyers and pre-eminent litigators. Gary represents corporations, as well as officers, directors and significant individuals, in all phases of complex high-stakes civil, criminal and regulatory matters. Throughout his career he has been one of the first calls for corporate leaders encountering legal problems. His work spans more than four decades and includes many sensitive and high-profile matters, including governmental and regulatory inquiries and related civil litigation involving allegations of insider trading, market manipulation, accounting irregularities, stock options backdating and other financial fraud. Gary has served as counsel to audit and special committees of a number of major public companies in connection with regulatory issues. He has also argued significant appeals in appellate courts throughout the country. 

Gary’s most notable work includes his successful defense of The Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner in the shareholder derivative lawsuit related to the hiring and termination of Michael Ovitz. After a 37-day trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery, Mr. Eisner and the other Disney directors prevailed on all counts, in what The National Law Journal selected as one of the top defense wins of that year. Gary also successfully secured dismissal for Kenneth Langone, former chair of the New York Stock Exchange Compensation Committee, of all charges brought against him by the New York Attorney General relating to the compensation of NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso.

Gary also represented the city of New York in the inquiry by the New York County District Attorney relating to the fire at the Deutsche Bank building at the World Trade Center, in which ultimately no charges were brought, and the defense of Sirius XM Radio in a breach of contract action by Howard Stern seeking $330 million in damages, securing summary judgment in favor of Sirius. 

Gary has long been regarded as the man to see by securities industry clients in sensitive “bet the company” matters, including federal and state criminal actions, SEC investigations and civil litigation. 

He defended Rajat K. Gupta, the former managing director worldwide of McKinsey, in both a high-profile criminal insider trading trial and a parallel SEC enforcement action, obtaining a precedent-setting decision challenging the attempt by the SEC to utilize an administrative process rather than go to court.

A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Gary’s litigation successes have been the subject of numerous profiles over the years. 

Earlier in his career, Gary served as assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and deputy chief of the Criminal Division, as well as special counsel to the U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating abuses in the nursing home industry.


Updated Sep 2021