Disputes Between Shareholders, Partners, and Other Stakeholders
The lawyers at Vernon Litigation Group represent minority owners, shareholders, partners, and other stakeholders when there is an ownership dispute or wrongdoing by the entity or those in control of the entity. Our lawyers have advised and represented corporations as well as both majority and minority shareholders.
These types of disputes are often focused on complex financial issues such as valuation, interpretation and enforcement of agreements, misappropriation or diversion of funds, and transactions done for personal benefit, which often translate to legal claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and/or minority shareholder oppression. For example, these types of disputes could involve: a unilateral or mutual desire to terminate the relationship between the owners; a challenge by a minority owner or non-voting owner of actions by controlling owners or the entity due to illegal activity, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty; oppression of the non-voting or non-controlling owners; efforts to appoint a receiver or to dissolve an entity; derivative and class actions; merger and acquisition disputes; challenges for corporate control; dissenter and valuation proceedings; or other legal disputes that often arise at some point during the life of a business.
Although these disputes often involve unanticipated, but significant personal conflict between owners, we focus our clients on working with us to develop a strategy to that reduces the emotion and focuses on an approach to prevail in the dispute in a timely and cost-effective manner (without unnecessary damage to the entity if possible). In other words, most owners initially got into the relationship for financial success and we believe that same mentality should be applied to our litigation strategy on behalf of our clients.
As soon as an owner senses that there is a potential problem, he or she should seek legal advice from a financial litigator. Many times, we are often hired long after conflict between owners has escalated and, as a result, our clients don’t receive the benefit of early strategy which might keep costs down, speed up the process, and increase chances of a successful outcome.
Similarly, as soon as an owner senses there is a potential problem, he or she should carefully review the documents that govern the entity and the owners of the entity. These documents can often create or cut off important rights and the development of any strategy should begin with the corporate documents (as well as any applicable statutes or case law).
We believe the key to success for our clients is to initially develop a customized strategy and to combine that strategy with our financial litigation experience to know when to be aggressive to achieve momentum and leverage and to also know when to be negotiators to achieve the result our client wants on a faster and more cost effective basis.