Practice

Business & Commercial Disputes

Providing successful strategies for commercial disputes that advance your business goals

When your company is facing the uncertainties of litigation, you need attorneys who understand your business, can assess your risk factors, and design and execute the right strategy in your circumstances. Our lawyers work across industries and borders, managing every stage of litigation to achieve the best results for our clients.

We are nationally recognized trial lawyers who have appeared in courts across the country, before arbitral tribunals domestically and internationally, and representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Members of our commercial litigation team also regularly work on international cases with foreign counsel. 

Our clients work in some of the most complex industries in the world, including technology, pharmaceuticals, financial services, health care, energy, cannabis, professional services, manufacturing and construction. Each of these sectors has its own idiosyncrasies and legal trends, all of which need to be explained and contextualized to a fact finder. 

Our attorneys have defended clients in government investigations and other proceedings commenced by the US Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and state securities regulators, the US Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, state Attorneys General offices and other agencies. Our lawyers are particularly adept at navigating courts that focus on commercial disputes, such as:  Massachusetts’ Business Litigation Session, New York’s Commercial Division and the Delaware Chancery Court. 

Chambers USA: The Client’s Guide has described our Litigation Department as a team that will: “... get the point very quickly and have a practical, efficient approach" and that it is comprised of some of the most talented and influential litigators in Boston. 

Our litigation clients also benefit from our formidable corporate, intellectual property and regulatory practices: we tap our colleague’s experience to advise clients in all aspects of their business to minimize litigation risk.

Areas of Focus

Our business and commercial disputes attorneys boast in a variety of specialties, such as:
 
  • Breach of contract
  • Business torts
  • Corporate governance
  • Partnership disputes
  • Post-merger or acquisition disputes
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Real estate matters
  • Antitrust and unfair competition
  • Employment and non-compete litigation
  • Accountant liability
  • Consumer fraud and false advertising
  • Intellectual property
  • International arbitration

Experience

BUSINESS DISPUTES

  • We obtained a settlement payment of 2 1/2 times damages for a major public agency on a claim of fraud against an international construction consultant.  
  • We successfully defended a client from an attempt to invalidate a power purchase agreement valued in excess of $40 million due to long-term gas supply restructurings.
  • We successfully represented all Massachusetts non-profit health insurers, both in court and in administrative proceedings, to resist an attempt by the Division of Insurance to impose arbitrary rate caps. 
  • We won a $2 million arbitration award from the American Arbitration Association's International Centre for a Dispute Resolution over mismanagement of a power plant in Guyana.
  • We arbitrated successor gas indices in a power purchase agreement.
  • We advised a power plant in a challenge and successful settlement of a pipeline repair cost allocation dispute at Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
  • We worked with a manufacturer of surgical products in a trade libel suit brought by a former distributor.
  • We successfully defended a market leader in shipbuilding and marine systems in a commercial warranty arbitration by purchaser of a LNG tanker to recover costs and lost profits allegedly due to vessel defects.

 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 

  • We represented international pension funds in disputes with investment management firms over alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • We advised a corporate defendant in direct and derivative litigation involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty.
  • We defended board members and officers against a claim that improper revenue recognition significantly damaged the company.
  • We successfully defended the former chief executive officer and chairman of a public company in a derivative suit alleging violations of state and federal law.  
  • We represented a minority shareholder of an internet start-up on claims against insiders for freeze-out and improper dilution.  
  • We obtained summary judgment for an investment advisory firm in an action by a former investor seeking substantial compensatory and punitive damages for allegations of misrepresentation and breaches of fiduciary duty. 

DISPUTES RELATED TO EXECUTIVE AND EMPLOYEE TRANSITIONS

  • We successfully represented the former president and CEO of a Fortune 100 company in overturning his discharge for cause and securing an arbitration award for over $60 million.
  • We defended a start-up telecommunications company against lawsuits in Delaware and Massachusetts federal courts. A competitor alleged unfair competition, tortious interference with business relations, breach of contract and theft of trade secrets.
  • We advised an international financial services company in an action by a former senior executive seeking additional separation benefits under a change of control agreement. 
  • We obtained a summary judgment for a pension plan and its trustee in an action by an investment manager in which tens of millions of dollars of profits were allegedly lost arising from the plan’s breach of the parties’ investment agreement. 
  • We won a favorable settlement for a manufacturer against its former employee and a competitor in an action for misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information. 
  • We prevailed in an industry arbitration on behalf of brokers accused of unfair competition and misuse of trade secrets.

CLASS ACTION DEFENSE

  • We obtained dismissals of two consumer class actions in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court based on argument for change in governing law.
  • We successfully defended a life insurance company in class action regarding vanishing premium policies and defeated class certification. Our defense was affirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
  • We advised an investment advisor and certain of its officers in shareholder class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and waste stemming from investment in publicly traded foreign online gambling corporations. We obtained dismissal first in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, which was affirmed by the Second Circuit. We also obtained a dismissal in Chancery Court when the claims were refiled there, and obtained an affirmance on appeal by the Delaware Supreme Court. 

ATTORNEY LIABILITY

  • We represented two major national law firms in defense of significant cases.
  • We successfully settled a case brought by a large, public client against a former trial counsel for failure to prepare a case.

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