Chicago Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Lawyer
A fiduciary relationship exists when one party owes obligations to the other that are based on a level of trust. Often, the fiduciary is a professional on whom the other party relies for guidance and advice. Examples of fiduciaries include real estate agents or brokers, stockbrokers, financial advisors and money managers, insurance agents, attorneys and accountants. Additionally, corporations owe fiduciary duties to shareholders, and partners in business owe fiduciary duties to one another.
Breach of fiduciary duty can be costly to the aggrieved party. As a consequence, a wide range of legal and equitable remedies are available in a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit. Likewise, the exposure of the party allegedly in breach can be considerable. If you are potentially a plaintiff or defendant in a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit, contact the law firm of King & Jones. Our Chicago breach of fiduciary duty lawyers have decades of experience handling such cases in Chicago and nationwide. You can count on King & Jones to represent your interests and work to achieve a satisfactory resolution regarding a breach of fiduciary duty claim.
What Are Fiduciary Duties?
Fiduciary duties typically arise in a professional or contractual relationship, where one party relies on the superior knowledge or expertise of the other, or where both parties owe reciprocal duties of trust to one another. Common fiduciary duties include:
- Fiduciary must act in the best interests of the beneficiary
- Fiduciary must behave honestly toward the beneficiary
- Fiduciary must be loyal to the beneficiary
- Fiduciary must avoid situations that create conflicts of interest between the fiduciary and the beneficiary
- Fiduciary must refrain from self-dealing that benefits the fiduciary at the beneficiary’s expense.
Consider the following examples, which might help explain the nature of the fiduciary relationship:
- A group of individuals forms an LLC or partnership for the purpose of identifying potentially lucrative real estate investments. One member becomes aware of an opportunity and invests privately outside of the company without letting the other partners know about the transaction.
- The trustee mismanages trust assets or acts in ways that are contrary to the beneficiaries’ best interests, or a trustee who is also a beneficiary acts to enrich him or herself at the other beneficiaries’ expense.
- A stockbroker recommends unsuitable investments to a client or engages in excessive trading solely to generate more commissions for the broker.
Is a Breach of Fiduciary Duty the Same as Professional Malpractice?
Breach of fiduciary duty could form the basis of a malpractice lawsuit or complaint against a lawyer, accountant or other professionals, but there are other breaches or misconduct that could give rise to a malpractice complaint as well. As experienced business litigators who handle breach of fiduciary matters as well as cases alleging legal malpractice or accounting malpractice, the attorneys at King & Jones are equipped to analyze your dispute and determine the appropriate steps to take.
What Remedies or Damages Are Available for Breach of Fiduciary Duty?
Even when the fiduciary relationship is based on a contractual relationship between the parties, the wronged party can recover money damages as in a business tort as opposed to a breach of contract claim. Depending on state law in the jurisdiction governing the dispute, punitive or exemplary damages might be available as well. Tort damages are often considerably higher than contract damages, raising the stakes for both plaintiff and defendant.
Equitable relief might also be appropriate in a breach of fiduciary duty matter. Equitable remedies can include, for example, rescission or avoidance of a contract, disgorgement of profits, forfeiture of fees, injunctions, reformation of contract terms, or imposition of a constructive trust on a piece of property at the center of a dispute. Judges generally have broad authority to fashion an equitable remedy they deem just in the given circumstances.
High-Quality Advice and Representation in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases in Chicago and Nationally
If you find yourself on either side of a dispute involving an alleged breach of fiduciary duty, don’t delay in talking to a skilled and knowledgeable Chicago breach of fiduciary duty lawyer who can advise you on how to handle the situation and represent you in any legal proceedings. In Chicago or nationwide, call the law firm of King & Jones at 312-372-4142.