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Overview

“[Hirschler] offers clients a good bench of attorneys capable of handling sophisticated business litigation matters, such as M&A and contract disputes.” Chambers USA

The lawyers of Hirschler’s complex business litigation group have the experience, reputation, judgment and demeanor to get companies through their most difficult legal challenges.

Business Disputes: A Fact of Life

All businesses—regardless of the industry in which they operate—face some level of exposure to potential litigation. Though not a forgone conclusion, complex litigation can arise from a wide range of business disputes, including, but not limited to:

·        Breach of contract

·        Shareholder rights

·        Asset purchase disagreements

·        Enforcement of covenants

·        Class actions

·        Claims of fraud

·        Business torts

·        Violation of partnership or joint venture agreements

·        Breach of fiduciary duty

Such disputes can be played out in federal or state courts, in private arbitration or in administrative hearings. In the best circumstances, a successful resolution of a business dispute can occur before litigation is filed or through alternative dispute resolution.

A Sound Strategy

No matter the industry or type of dispute, if a claim or threat of litigation involves significant dollars or threatens to disrupt business operations, a well-coordinated business litigation strategy will be necessary to insure the business’ survival.

At Hirschler, we believe the key to a successful business dispute strategy is a strong working relationship between the client—the business owner or executive acting as the client—and the lawyers responsible for formulating and executing the dispute resolution plan.  The essential steps in building that relationship include:

  • Understanding the client’s industry, its place in that industry and the impact on the business of making its disputes public.
  • Scaling the prosecution or defense of a dispute to fit the legal and business needs of the client.
  • Employing efficiency, creativity and sound judgment to meet the business objectives of the client.  
  • Achieving the best possible result at a reasonable cost.

Lawyers who listen, engage the business owner or representative in every aspect of the litigation plan and understand the motivations and outlook of each of the players involved in the dispute will be best suited to achieving the client’s goals.

Experience

Experience

Represented the purchaser of the assets of a proprietary software company who was sued by the seller in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County.  The seller filed suit against the buyer for the amount of the two “holdback” payments, and the buyer counterclaimed based on breaches of two warranties:  (a) that the software was free of bugs and defects, and (b) that the software had not been developed using open source code that could impose a requirement that the software be disclosed or distributed in source code form.   After significant discovery, including the exchange of expert reports, the case settled on confidential terms.

Represented the seller of cybersecurity software and products, in a dispute with one of its resellers.  The company closed a large sale to Hewlett Packard Enterprises (“HPE”) without the involvement of, or paying a commission to, the reseller.  The company closed the deal directly because the reseller did not have financing in place to consummate the sale, did not have an open contract vehicle with HPE, and did little to generate the sale.  The reseller sued for its lost profits and punitive damages under contract and tort theories.  The case, which involved a significant document review,  is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Defended an investment professional who left her former employer.  The former employer filed suit claiming theft of trade secrets and violation of the client’s employment agreement. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and was settled in the summer of 2018. 

Lead counsel in defense of a lawsuit filed by a municipality alleging defective workmanship and defective productive used in a construction project.  Joined manufacturer as a third-party defendant.

Defended firm client in defeating applications for a temporary restraining order (on three-days’ notice) and, six weeks later, a preliminary injunction in the Chancery Court for Burlington County, New Jersey.  Successfully stayed litigation and enforce a mandatory arbitration agreement.

Represented global global manufacturer of plumbing, heating and water quality products in multi-defendant litigation involving carbon monoxide poisoning of five plaintiffs.  The five cases were consolidated with claims totalling $100,000,000.00.  The issues involved include building code compliance, HVAC design, valve design and manufacturing.  Hirschler initially demurred to plaintiffs’ claims and secured a non-suit of the company by all five plaintiffs.  Subsequently, the company was third-partied by the gas-fired water heater manufacturer.  Based on the testimony of engineering and construction experts hired by the company, plaintiffs abandoned their claims that the valve was defective and the water heater manufacturer non-suited the company two days before trial began.

Ongoing representation of a nationwide home improvement retailer in construction and real estate development litigation in state and federal courts in Virginia.

Represented a publically-traded US environmental contractor in a claims dispute process with local municipality.

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