Many companies must deal with litigation at some point in the course of their operations, and each year billions of dollars are won and lost in business disputes. The owners of a small family-owned company may disagree on its objectives, two corporations may clash over the interpretation of a contract, or one entity may file unfair competition claims against another. In any of these situations, legal action may be necessary to make sure your livelihood is protected. The knowledgeable business litigation lawyers at Lubin Austermuehle, P.C. can guide clients in the Chicago area and across the Mid-West region through all types of business disputes. Our firm is dedicated to providing aggressive and zealous representation throughout the duration of your legal matter. We assist business owners and professionals who are pursuing action against wrongdoers or defending legal suits that threaten their company’s future. Our Chicago business attorneys know what is at stake during litigation, and we pursue favorable resolutions while trying to avoid excessive costs.
The lawyers at Lubin Austermuehle, P.C. handle all types of internal disputes that may take shape during the course of a company’s formation, management, or dissolution. When it comes to managing a family business, for example, complications may arise that are perhaps unforeseeable. For instance, when spouses who co-own a company decide to divorce, the entity’s value as well as who retains ownership and managing responsibilities must be determined either through negotiations leading to an agreement or by a judge in court.
Internal conflicts may occur if there has been a breach of fiduciary duty or breaches of non-compete clauses. Fiduciary duties include duties of loyalty, care, disclosure, or confidentiality that an individual owes to another individual or business. Directors, executives, and owners may owe each other or the company these duties, depending on their relationships and roles within a business. Partners operating a business owe each other a duty of loyalty as well as to act in good faith and fair dealings. Additionally, board directors of corporations are prohibited from putting themselves in positions whereby their individual interests conflict with those of the company, and they may not use their status for personal gain. If a breach occurs or is alleged to have occurred, the result is usually complex litigation. Shareholders may file derivative actions on behalf of a company in order to hold directors liable for breaching their fiduciary duties. These suits can result in in forfeitures of salaries incurred during a breach, recovery of stock values, and in rare instances punitive damages if a defendant’s actions are found to be particularly egregious.
Non-compete agreements are often necessary to ensure companies are protected. Breaches of these agreements are among the most common sources of business litigation. Non-compete clauses may be used to prevent employees from using client lists for their own interests following termination, or they may be included in a sales contract to prevent a seller from engaging in the same industry as the business being sold. Our business attorneys can help Chicago clients navigate disputes related to these agreements.
Often, protecting your company means pursuing litigation to preserve your rights or property in addition to defending your business against outside threats. Many disputes result from a party’s alleged failure to uphold its obligations under an agreement. Breach of contract claims may be based on misinterpretations of a contract’s terms and conditions, issues concerning an offer or acceptance, or claims alleging fraud or coercion in entering into an agreement. With the many types of breach of contract suits, which can involve owners, vendors, or customers, come different forms of recovery. If a plaintiff proves that a contract has been breached, a defendant may be subject to enforcement of a contract’s term, cancelation of a contract, or other damages. Consequential damages may also be awarded. These are calculated in terms of losses to future business or harm to an entity’s reputation.
Businesses must also protect their interests by trying to hold their competitors accountable if they engage in improper practices. Unfair competition claims may arise from actions by another party that either intentionally aim to confuse consumers regarding the source of a product or service, such as trademark and copyright infringement, or qualify as deceptive business practices, which may include tortious interference with contractual rights or prospective business opportunities and trade secret theft. To show interference with contractual relations, a plaintiff must prove the existence of a protectable contract right and an intentional interference with that right that caused economic loss.Consult a Business Lawyer in the Chicago Area for Guidance Regarding a Corporate Dispute
At Lubin Austermuehle, P.C., we have decades of experience representing companies with all types of business and commercial disputes. Among other matters, our firm handles shareholder, member, or partner freeze-out claims, stolen corporate opportunity cases, excessive compensation claims, UCC litigation, and trade defamation actions. We can also represent business owners and professionals in issues involving business operations, employment, real estate transactions, taxes, and matters regarding bankruptcy.
The scope and quality of our services are reflected by the variety of well-established and complex business entities we represent. Clients we have represented or continue to represent include: Experian, Molex, Leslie Hindman Auctions, Aspen Marketing Services, Inc., DiMucci Family Corporations, Simplot Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, Fontanini Italian Meats, Flynn Beverage Corporation, Concord Homes, Lexington Homes, Dean Foods Corporation, Berthold Types, Motorola Mobile Management Co., Tulip Food Company, Converged Communications Systems, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Lectura Montessori School, Inc., Bleuchip International, Inc., CI Financial Corp, Bob Rohrman Auto Group, and Epsilon.
Our Chicago business lawyers work hard to protect the rights of our clients in business disputes and many other forms of litigation. We represent entities throughout Illinois, including in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and Will Counties. Our firm also serves businesses in other states throughout the Mid-West region, such as Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. If you need assistance with a commercial litigation matter, contact us online or by phone at 833-306-4933 or 630-333-0333 to schedule an appointment.