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John O. Farley
(212) 540-4170

New York University School of Law, JD

University of Virginia, BA

Bar Admissions
New York 


A founding member of Rottenstreich Farley & Bronstein, John is a trial lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience in high-stakes commercial, partnership, white-collar, securities, and matrimonial matters. He now focuses his practice on matrimonial actions involving substantial marital estates with complex valuation, jurisdictional, and accounting issues.

He presently represents high net-worth clients in New York City, Silicon Valley, and Palm Beach, in complex matters with amounts in controversy exceeding $1 billion. He regularly represents hedge fund, private equity, and other financial services executives, company founders and entrepreneurs, lawyers, and other professionals—and their spouses and children—in divorce and custody actions, pre-and postnuptial agreements, and other civil disputes.

Before co-founding RFB, John was a senior member of the team that took to trial the largest contested divorce in New York City history, and the team that settled on a highly favorable basis one of, if not the, largest hedge fund cases ever to proceed to trial.

John started his career as a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. After leaving Cravath, John became an associate and eventually an equity partner at Goodwin Procter. There, his practice focused on securities and white-collar litigation, and the representation of private investment funds and their partners in commercial and partnership disputes. He also regularly represented REITs, investment banks, target companies, and acquirers in M&A litigation, spanning industries from electrical power generation to medical devices.

While a partner at Goodwin, John represented Countrywide Financial Corporation in nationwide class-action litigation concerning more than $300 billion of mortgage-backed securities, the largest securities fraud class action in United States history. He defended a hedge fund portfolio manager in connection with an alleged $275 million insider trading scheme, the largest of its kind ever prosecuted. He represented the founding member of a boutique investment bank in a partnership dispute concerning the dissolution of the enterprise, a private equity fund in connection with a valuation dispute arising from the $500 million sale of a specialty pharmaceutical distributor, the board of Lyondell-Basell in the wake of its bankruptcy, and CreXus Investment Corporation in a landmark decision in the Maryland courts over “insider”-driven, go-private transactions. He defended Macerich against a $21 billion hostile takeover by its largest competitor. And he served as general outside litigation counsel to a healthcare private equity firm, where he acted as lead counsel in a post-closing dispute that ended in a three-week, 21-witness arbitration and a complete victory for his client—including a multi-million-dollar award of legal and expert witness fees.

John received his JD from New York University School of Law and his BA in English literature and philosophy from the University of Virginia. John splits time between Brooklyn Heights and northern Westchester, where he lives with his daughter, his girlfriend, her son, and a varied assortment of dogs.

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