R.D. Kohut advises clients on all aspects of the employment relationship.
Practice & Background
Mr. Kohut represents companies and executives in proceedings before arbitrators, state and federal courts, and administrative agencies, such as the New York State Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Kohut litigates for clients across diverse businesses, with prior representations including a professional sports league’s defense of independent contractor employee benefit and discrimination claims and an investment management company’s prosecution of restrictive covenant and fiduciary duty claims in multiple litigations against former portfolio managers in the United States and Europe.
Mr. Kohut regularly counsels on and conducts investigations involving executive employment hiring and termination, reduction-in-force, discrimination, whistle-blower, wage-and-hour, workplace safety and health, governmental contracting and union matters. He negotiates, drafts and resolves disputes regarding complex agreements relating to employment, partnership, contracting, retention, separation, noncompetition and other restrictive covenants, release of claims and collective bargaining. Mr. Kohut has extensive experience across the financial services field, including public companies, private equity firms, investment banks, investment managers, hedge funds and broker- dealers.
In addition to his involvement with labor and employment matters in complex national and international mergers and stock and asset acquisitions, Mr. Kohut has significant experience with corporate restructurings. In the bankruptcy context, he represents companies rejecting collective bargaining agreements and modifying retiree benefits, as well as negotiating and seeking court approval of new agreements. His prior experience includes advising multinational corporations, hedge funds, private equity firms and creditors committees in restructurings of airline, automobile, food service, pharmaceutical and retail companies. He also represents governmental entities in restructuring and public-private partnership investments.
Prior to joining Akin Gump, Mr. Kohut was counsel at another leading international law firm. Mr. Kohut received his J.D. from Cornell Law School and his B.S. from Cornell University.
Mr. Kohut’s recent representations include:
- successfully negotiating the employment termination of the most senior executives for multiple hedge funds, private equity firms, and public companies
- successfully obtaining junctive relief against former portfolio managers for an investment manager based on non-compete, non-solicit, and confidentiality agreement claims
- successfully defending an asset manager against non-disparagement claims by a former investment professional
- successfully defending an employee raiding case against a financial services company
- successfully representing a public company against equity claims brought by a former chief executive officer
- successfully defending independent contractor misclassification and age discrimination claims against a professional sports league
- successfully negotiating ground breaking collective bargaining agreements with an airline’s pilot unions
- successfully defending portfolio companies against unfair labor practice claims before the National Labor Relations Board
Awards & Accolades
- Akin Gump’s labor and employment practice named as Law360 Employment Practice Group of the Year four times in the past seven years, including in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2016.