Organizations are held together by good intentions and contractual understandings. Smart businesses, shareholders and partners enter into agreements with one another, laying out policies on buy-ins, buyouts, operations, financial responsibility, liability and other issues. Over time, however, cracks can form in these agreements. Parties who went into business seeking mutual benefit decide the relationship is not working for them, and they want to make things right.
Business disputes in closely held companies and partnerships can destroy an organization, and destroy the ability of all parties to make a living. It is not unusual for disputes to occur within family businesses, which is distressing to everyone. At Gottschlich & Portune, LLP, we represent all parties in seeking solutions to disputes that are acceptable and minimally destructive.
Why Do These Disputes Happen?
In shareholder disputes, we represent majority owners, minority owners and equal percentage owners in companies in nearly every industry. Disputes turn on a wide variety of conflicts:
- Illegal behavior
This can include charges of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Money problems
These conflicts arise from insolvency, commercial debt and bankruptcy.
- Personnel issues
This can include compensation, severance, pension benefits, stock plans, wrongful termination, trade secret violations, unfair competition, confidentiality agreements, noncompete agreements and employment agreements.
How We Solve Disputes
We typically take one of these avenues in our negotiations:
In this case, all parties sit down with a third-party mediator to voice their concerns, propose solutions and come to an agreement. This can happen in the same room, or the mediator can migrate between rooms if communication has broken down. Adherence to the final agreement is voluntary.
This is similar to mediation, but the arbitrator’s role is closer to that of a judge. Once the arbitrator has heard from all parties, they will render a binding decision on the path forward that all parties must adhere to.
This is the most time-intensive option, but it is sometimes necessary. These lawsuits can center on breach of fiduciary duty or other concerns.
Some problems can be solved with buyouts, restructuring, asset sales and purchases, stock sales and purchases, and other means. We work to be creative and fair-minded in our solutions. We faithfully represent your view in the process, but we are always mindful of the real and painful consequences for all parties.
Dispute Resolution For Many Business Types
Whatever kind of business entity you have chosen, our attorneys can work within its legal structure to resolve your dispute. We work to resolve differences between:
- Franchisers and franchisees
- General partnerships
- Limited partnerships
- Limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
- Joint ventures
- Limited liability companies (LLCs)
By tailoring our final resolution to the type of business you have, we are able to use its unique qualities to best protect your interests.
Let Us Help With The Future Of Your Business
If you are in the midst of an internal business crisis, we are happy to meet with you and lay out your best options. Call the experienced lawyers at Gottschlich & Portune, LLP, of Dayton, Ohio, at 937-913-0200or contact us online.