Gary P Naftalis is co-chair of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, where he heads the firm's extensive litigation practice. One of the nation's leading trial lawyers, he was recently named as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by The National Law Journal and as one of the 10 Leading Trial Lawyers in the United States by Legal 500 and one of the Top 10 Lawyers (Top Point Getter) in New York by Super Lawyers. Mr Naftalis is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. For more than 40 years he has represented individuals and corporations in all phases of complex civil, criminal, and regulatory matters including those involving allegations of accounting irregularities, insider trading, market manipulation, and other financial fraud. He also serves as counsel to audit and special committees of a number of major public companies in connection with regulatory issues.
During his 40+ year career, he has successfully represented numerous securities industry clients, including Salomon Brothers in the investigation of US Treasury auction bidding practices; Kidder, Peabody in the Wall Street insider trading probe, and Canary Capital Partners in the mutual fund inquiries.
He successfully defended Michael Eisner, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company, in the shareholders derivative lawsuit relating to the hiring and termination of Michael Ovitz. After a 37 day trial in the Delaware Chancery Court, Mr Eisner and the other Disney directors prevailed on all counts. The Disney case was chosen as one of the top defense wins of 2005 by The National Law Journal.
Mr Naftalis successfully won dismissal in favor of Kenneth Langone, former chair of the New York Stock Exchange Compensation Committee, of all charges brought against him by then Attorney General Eliot Spitzer relating to the compensation of NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso. Following a decision by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court directing dismissal of the lawsuit, the Attorney General announced he would not appeal and dropped the case.
He successfully represented the City of New York in the inquiry relating to the fire at the Deutsche Bank building. No charges were brought against the City, any of its agencies or its officials.
Mr Naftalis successfully won summary judgment for Sirius XM Radio dismissing a breach of contract action by Howard Stern seeking $330 million in damages. The court found that the "clear, unambiguous language" of the contract defeated Stern's claim. The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court unanimously upheld the dismissal of Stern's lawsuit.
Mr Naftalis defended Rajat K Gupta, the former Managing Director Worldwide of McKinsey, in both a high-profile criminal insider trading trial and parallel SEC enforcement action, where he obtained a precedent-setting decision challenging the attempt by the Securities and Exchange Commission to utilize an administrative process rather than go to court.