Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan is the founding partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP. A formidable litigator with decades of experience in both commercial and civil rights litigation, Robbie has become an expert in cutting-edge areas of law.
Robbie’s practice includes a wide range of commercial matters for clients like Airbnb, Uber, Columbia University, and Fitch Ratings. Robbie represents these clients and others in their most high-stakes, complex legal challenges, delivering a track record of impressive results.
Robbie has represented a number of technology companies in the sharing economy. On behalf of her client Airbnb, she succeeded in obtaining a preliminary injunction on Fourth Amendment grounds blocking a New York City ordinance from taking effect. Robbie has represented Fitch Ratings in dozens of regulatory investigations and civil litigations in both state and federal court relating to Fitch's credit ratings of RMBS, CDO, and municipal bond transactions. As a result, Robbie has developed a particular expertise dealing with the complex interplay between regulatory investigations and the onslaught of civil lawsuits that often follow.
Since founding Kaplan Hecker & Fink, she has filed a lawsuit under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 against twenty-four neo-Nazi and white supremacist leaders responsible for organizing the racial- and religious-based violence in Charlottesville in August 2017; successfully challenged the City of Starkville’s refusal to allow a LGBT Pride Parade; and sued President Trump, his family, and his business, for defrauding investors in a multi-level marketing scheme linked to a failed telecommunications company.
Robbie is also the co-founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which supports workers who have experienced workplace sexual harassment and related retaliation to seek the justice they deserve, regardless of industry, rank, or role.
Before founding Kaplan Hecker & Fink, Robbie was a litigation partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP. While at Paul, Weiss, Robbie gained decades of experience representing a diverse group of clients such as J.P. Morgan Chase, the Minnesota Vikings, and T-Mobile in intricate, high profile matters. In July 2017, Robbie left Paul, Weiss after 25 years to found Kaplan Hecker & Fink (then Kaplan & Company LLP).
Robbie is perhaps best known for successfully arguing before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of her client Edith Windsor in United States v. Windsor, the landmark Supreme Court case. In Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the U.S. Constitution by barring legally married same-sex couples from enjoying the wide-ranging benefits of marriage conferred under federal law. The consequences of the Windsor decision were both rapid and profound.
Robbie currently serves as an adjunct professor of law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches a seminar on Advanced Civil Procedure.
Robbie currently serves as the chair of the Board of Directors of the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC). She also serves as a subcommittee chair of New York's Commercial Division Advisory Council, and is a member of the Judicial Task Force on the New York State Constitution.
B.A., Harvard University, 1988
J.D., Columbia University, 1991