Corporate and Shareholder
Within the context of our litigation practice, our attorneys have spent years developing a highly specialized practice representing shareholders, and members or partners in closely held businesses. With the lack of any ready market for such ownership interests, and the frequency with which the sale of such interests is restricted, disputes among owners of closely held businesses present unique problems. Our attorneys have substantial experience representing minority ownership interests that have been treated unfairly. The firm has achieved a large number of favorable results in favor of minority shareholders in recent years, including recoveries of $2.7 million and $705,000. In 2005, the firm published Minority Shareholder Oppression: From Estes to Franchino, 84 Mich BJ 8 (2005) in the Michigan Bar Journal, in response to key developments in judicial treatment of minority shareholder claims.
We also represent majority ownership interests faced with obstruction or revolt by unreasonable minority shareholders. Our attorneys are experienced at assisting directors and officers in achieving corporate objectives through methods that do not infringe on the rights of minority ownership interests.
Our attorneys within this practice area have also developed significant expertise regarding corporate governance. Because owners of closely held businesses tend also to be directors, officers and employees, they may be subject to strict fiduciary duties, the violation of which often permeates disputes among business owners. We have substantial experience in holding corporate fiduciaries to the strict level of responsibility inherent in their roles as officers, directors, and managing members of business entities. In 2008, the firm published a comprehensive article in the Michigan Bar Journal discussing these issues. See Partnership and the Fiduciary Component; Duties, Obligations, Rights, and Remedies 87 Mich BJ 12 (2008).