John O. Farley
Since joining Cohen Clair in 2016, John Farley has applied his years of experience in high-stakes commercial, partnership, white-collar, and securities litigation to matrimonial matters, particularly those involving substantial marital estates with complex valuation and accounting issues.
He currently represents clients in New York City and Westchester in several complex matters with amounts in controversy exceeding $100 million. He regularly represents hedge funds, private equity, and other financial services executives, lawyers, and other professionals—and their spouses and children—in divorce and custody actions, pre-and postnuptial agreements, and other civil disputes.
Mr. Farley was a senior member of the Cohen Clair team that took to trial the largest contested divorce in New York City history, and the Cohen Clair team that settled on a highly favorable basis one of, if not the, largest hedge fund cases ever to proceed to trial.
Prior to joining the firm, and after starting his career at Cravath, Swaine & Moore as a litigation associate, Mr. Farley was 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, Mr. Farley 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.
Mr. Farley received his JD from New York University School of Law and his BA in English literature and philosophy from the University of Virginia. Mr. Farley lives in Brooklyn Heights with his daughter.