Partnerships, LLC’s, and closely held corporations require unity and shared aspirations among principals. When these relationships break down irretrievably, a business divorce might be the only answer.
Business divorces occur in all sorts of privately held companies, from professional service companies (like accounting firms, law firms, engineering firms, medical practices, etc.); to industrial, chemical, and commercial companies; to real estate developers; to high-tech and bio-tech companies, hospitality and restaurants, retailers, family companies, etc. Parties involved may include family members, longtime friends, angel investors, private equity or venture capital investors, silent partners, and key employees.
Without capable representation from an experienced attorney, a business divorce can be devastating to the interests of the individual partner or client and even the viability of the company. To help protect our clients, the Philadelphia business divorce lawyers at the Jacobs Law Group provide boutique, multidisciplinary services to closely held corporations, family businesses, and partnerships.
Neal Jacobs is a leading practitioner in this complicated field and is a sought-after lecturer having lectured on this topic for the American Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the New Jersey Institute of Legal Education, and internationally in the EU and the UK in London for the International Forum Of Senior Executive Advisers (IFSEA). Mr. Jacobs leads a team of business divorce attorneys experienced in business divorces.
Closely held businesses can reach a point where the principals’ visions for the future diverge or their relationships have irretrievably broken down. Often, there is evidence of malfeasance or fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, theft of corporate opportunities, shareholder oppression, squeeze-outs or freeze-outs of shareholders, or even criminal conduct. In such cases, a business divorce may be inevitable. And the partners in the business need independent legal representation from a Philadelphia lawyer.
Often, principals have old agreements that never envisioned a business divorce-type dispute nor any means to resolve a deadlock. Many older agreements only address buyouts in the context of death and disability. In such cases, we conduct an intensive review of all applicable documents and search for the loopholes that might give our client an advantage. Sometimes, we can use our findings to apply other legal principles to the advantage of our client. And, if a buyout is eventually reached, a business divorce law firm will then “document” or “paper” the agreement, putting it into enforceable legal language.
In other cases, the parties to an internal business dispute might be in conflict on multiple relevant issues. A legal professional at our Philadelphia office could guide the principals to identify their priorities and pursue those priorities through negotiation, with the intent to take the case to court if necessary.
Many small businesses are formed as partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships Sub S Corporations, or even as closely held corporations. When a dispute arises amongst the principals or partners of these business entities, unraveling the relationship can be complex. Experience matters.
Some representative matters that require the services of a business divorce team include the following:
Successfully navigating business divorce issues requires expertise in multiple areas of law practice. The attorneys at the Jacobs Law Group focus on corporate governance, business issues, corporate litigation, commercial litigation, injunctive relief, real estate, and corporate transactions.
An attorney with experience handling business disputes in Philadelphia can help determine what the parties wish to accomplish through the divorce. These objectives often become obscured by the emotions that accompany a business divorce, but the lawyers at our firm are skilled at managing the emotional fallout without allowing it to cloud business decision-making.
Depending on the circumstances, a business divorce might require obtaining an injunction or restraining order against a party. A receiver or fiscal agent might be needed to collect or distribute assets. A seasoned attorney could assess when these antagonistic legal actions are necessary to further the business’ goals.
Resolution of a business divorce might be in the form of a buyout of a partner’s interest, or a sale of the company, or even a split of the business between the partners.
If you believe divorce from another principal is the best way to handle a dispute, you need an attorney with business savvy and legal expertise. It is critical that you choose the right Philadelphia business divorce lawyer to successfully guide you and your company toward a desirable resolution.
When it is time to part ways with a business partner or partners, any delay increases the risk of retaliatory action or further damage to your interests. Contact the Jacobs Law Group today to discuss how we can help protect your interests.
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