Corporate, LLC and Partnership Disputes
Lax & Neville LLP represents business partners, LLC members, co-owners and directors in shareholder and partnership disputes. Most often, at the onset of the shareholder or partnership relationship, matters run smoothly, but over time problems may develop that prevent the shareholders or partners from running their companies or partnerships effectively. Internal disputes among shareholders and partners can begin to strain the business and stifle growth while at the same time draining the company or partnership’s revenue or even its assets. Sometimes, the business relationship between partners will deteriorate to such a degree that hiring an attorney may be a necessary step to protecting your individual interests. Our attorneys have decades of commercial litigation experience and are able to counsel clients regarding a myriad of shareholder and partnership disputes, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
- Breach of contract
- Negotiating exit packages, dissolutions and other winding up matters
- Representing shareholders and partners in arbitrations, litigations or mediations
- Advising clients on employment questions, including compensation, severance packages, pension benefits, wrongful termination, non-compete agreements, non-solicit agreements, trade secret agreements, Garden Leave provisions, confidentiality agreements, etc.
- Interpretation and enforcement of partnership and shareholder voting agreements
- Advising clients on breach of fiduciary duties, insolvency, bankruptcy, and commercial debts
- Misappropriation of assets and corporate theft
- Usurpation of business opportunity
In many ways, going into business with your partner is similar to a marriage. In fact, sometimes when a partnership breaks up, that breakup is termed a “business divorce.” However, in the partnership dispute context, an attorney can best represent their client when they begin their representative relationship by counseling their client through existing conflicts, not at the moment when both parties are ready to go to court. In other words, the attorney can act as both a marriage counselor, and divorce attorney, providing both advice as well as advocacy. Like some marriages, not all members of a corporation exist on an equal footing with each other. Some members will have more control than others. When a business relationship starts to break up, members with more control might abuse that power and oppress the minority shareholders or partners. This practice can go on for years and if left unchecked, the oppressed member may not even be aware of the degree they are being harmed or legally damaged. As such, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney at the first sign of trouble, rather than wait until the business relationship completely breaks down.
We understand that your business is your livelihood and the more time you spend focusing on potentially major litigation, the less time you have to ensure that your business or partnership succeeds. Our attorneys understand how sensitive these matters can be and are able to assess the potential risks, costs and benefits of litigation in order to properly advise our clients. We advise clients on when to avoid costly litigation through the dispute resolution process outside of court, such as mediation or arbitration. However, when litigation is unavoidable; we zealously represent our clients in litigation or arbitration.
If you have a potential shareholder or partnership dispute for which you are seeking an attorney to represent you, please contact our law firm.