Fox Moulder’s motto was “Trust No One.” Lawyers can understand this paranoia. Divorce lawyers know spouses cheat. Criminal lawyers know clients steal (and worse). You should know that your business partners and key employees that you trust the most can betray you. This includes both majority and minority shareholders in close corporations, members of LLC’s (Massachusetts limited liability companies), and partners in partnerships. Sadly, this also includes family members in a family business.
Shareholder / LLC / Partnership Disputes
I assist business people in their interactions with their business partners, including shareholders in close corporations, LLC members and managers, and partners in partnerships. I review, revise, negotiate and draft shareholder agreements, operating agreements, employment contracts, noncompete agreements and other types of agreements that impact these issues. I assist majority owners to deal with minority owners, including terminations. I assist minority owners who have been frozen out, terminated or otherwise treated unfairly. I assist in asset purchases and sales. I assist presidents and treasurers and CEO's and LLC Managers in their corporate agreements to help protect them from undue liability. I can represent businesses and business people in mediation, arbitration, litigation and trial.
Examples of results I have obtained in this practice area include the following:
- Obtained a $1.4 million agreement for judgment for a minority-shareholder of a local textile company
- Obtained a $255,000 settlement for a business executive in a Wage Act claim against LLC Managers
- Obtained a judgment for a business executive of over $640,000 against the acting CEO of an LLC
- Part of a trial team that obtained a jury verdict and a seven-figure judgment for an executive who was promised equity as an inducement to go to work for a start-up technology company.
- Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a shareholder of a now-defunct closely held corporation at a jury trial. Plaintiff brought claims for breach of contract, piercing the corporate veil, and violation of Chapter 93A.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a mortgage brokerage firm to enforce a noncompete agreement against a former employee in the business litigation session.
- Defeated an attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction to enforce a noncompete agreement against a former specialty product salesperson in the business litigation session.
- Negotiated a settlement for a high-level executive employee of over $1 million for breach of contract and sexual harassment claims.
- Defeated an employer’s attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction to enforce a noncompete agreement against an insurance broker in the business litigation session.
- Obtained an immediate payment of almost $100,000 for a minority shareholder who had been denied compensation by the majority shareholders.
- Negotiated a segregation of business assets for a minority shareholder who had been cheated by the majority shareholder.
- On behalf of a business owner, settled a mid-six-figure claim brought by an equipment lessor for low five-figure dollars.
- When a business client was sued on a commercial loan guaranty, with a deficiency of over $500K, settled the case at mediation for less than 1/4 of the amount due and obtained an assignment against co-guarantor. Then obtained a judgement against co-guarantor for over $500,000. Essentially turned client’s $500K obligation into a $500K potential asset.
- Obtained a judgment and assessment of damages for 50% shareholders of a close corporation who had been cheated by co-shareholders.
- Negotiated a favorable buyout of a 50% shareholder who abandoned close corporation.
- Convinced another departing 50% shareholder to abandon claims.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of a local service firm sued for a variety of prevailing wage and wage violations.