Firm Settles Dispute Over Family-Held Business

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Too often families fail to make future plans for closely held businesses. What happens when a dispute arises in a thriving business owned equally by several family members? What happens when a parent dies owning 100% of the stock in the family business?

Recently, our team of corporate lawyers and commercial litigators resolved a dispute that had been brewing for years. When the family matriarch died years ago leaving the business to her children, she left no mechanism for resolving disputes or effecting buy-outs. In turn, the son failed to make plans when he transferred shares to his children and his wife. When a seemingly unresolvable dispute arose, two shareholders resigned, opened a competing business and filed suit against the family members remaining with the business.

After being embroiled in intense litigation in Superior Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals for nearly a year, our team of commercial litigators, Robert Hagler and Beth McLeod, brought the dispute to an end. Ultimately the disgruntled shareholders were bought out at a favorable price, the litigation ended and the company survived in healthy financial condition.

At the beginning, Robert told the client that “our only goal is to resolve the dispute in your favor but we must aggressively pursue it. In the end, however, your family needs peace.” After settlement the client thanked us:

“… I would like to express our deepest appreciation to you, Beth and Mary as well as everyone with the Fulcher Hagler firm who were associated with our case. As it wasn’t easy for . . . us to go through such an emotionally challenging legal dispute, I’m convinced that we couldn’t have done it alone, or with any other firm. From the beginning, everyone with Fulcher Hagler with whom we came in contact was personable, professional and focused on getting us to a positive resolution. We especially appreciate the integrity with which the firm handled our case.

In the end, the outcome of our case exceeded our expectations, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the law firm of Fulcher Hagler to anyone who may find themselves in similar circumstances.”

If this is your situation in the making and you wish to make plans, please consult Mary Robbins. If things are already broken, please consult our commercial litigators, Robert Hagler and Beth McLeod.