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Business Ownership Disputes

New York and New Jersey Business Ownership Litigation

As the fortunes of closely-held businesses rise or fall, the relationships within their ownership groups can often come under strain. The lawyers of Kaiser Saurborn & Mair advise small businesses, partnerships, professional practice groups and family corporations about the best ways to resolve ownership disputes through negotiation, mediation or litigation.

Rapid Growth or Financial Pressure: Both Can Expose Ownership Problems

Few small businesses stay the same size over time. Success can lead to expansion or even a public offering. Problems with management or access to capital can lead to the departure of one or more original principals, or the arrival of new participants with different visions for the company. Either way, new challenges can indicate that the original shareholder or operating agreement is not equipped to resolve the problems now faced by the principals.

At Kaiser Saurborn & Mair, our attorneys advise both companies and individual stakeholders about the most promising approaches toward the resolution of business ownership disputes in such situations as the following:

  • Disputes concerning the merger, expansion, or dissolution of a partnership or professional practice group.
  • Corporate or partnership governance disputes involving meetings, elections, resolutions or other actions.
  • Minority stockholder actions alleging squeezeouts, oppression or breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Negotiation or enforcement of restrictive covenants concerning competition, trade secrets or nondisclosure upon the departure of a partner or equity principal.
  • Review, amendment or enforcement of such basic organizational instruments as shareholder agreements, partnership agreements or buy-sell agreements.
  • Management succession disputes upon the death or departure of a partner or substantial shareholder.

The Firm's experience with business ownership litigation makes clear that many disputes within partnerships and closely-held corporations involve substantial issues of employment law as well as corporate law, especially in situations when a partner or shareholder provides essential management functions or has engaged in substantial professional work as a lawyer or physician. Our clients benefit from our ability to resolve the employment and severance aspects of a troubled departure or dissolution together with the corporate or partnership issues inherent in the situation.

Kaiser Saurborn & Mair counsels partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies and the individuals who own and operate them in both New York and New Jersey.