Working together to build a business should mutually benefit all parties involved. However, disputes and litigation often arise when one party disagrees with the other about success or another key aspect of the business’s operation. If you find yourself in this position, a Chicago partnership litigation lawyer from our team is here to help.
At King & Jones, our corporate litigation legal team provides case evaluations, so you can learn more about our team, and we can discuss your options. We represent plaintiffs and defendants in partnership litigation and help business owners avoid trials when possible. We can answer your questions and discuss your desired outcome. Contact us today.
When we represent a business owner, our attorneys from King & Jones fight to get the best possible result. While we want to keep costs down and work efficiently, we also want to build the strongest case possible to help our clients get the outcomes they deserve. When you work with us, your goals become our goals.
Our team provides top-level customer service in addition to providing legal representation and guidance. Many of our clients return when they need additional legal services, and others leave glowing reviews for our team. We have more than 30 years of experience as trial lawyers going up against large corporations, insurance companies, and more. We know how to protect your best interests.
We pride ourselves on ensuring our clients fully understand their cases. We can answer any questions that arise and provide advice and information about legal options, pros and cons, benefits and risks, and more. We develop a strong plan for approaching the case, present this to the client, and move forward as they wish. Your involvement in preparing your case is crucial.
Business partnerships, and the rules necessary to create them, vary widely from state to state. In Chicago, state law says that when two or more people go into business together, they have a partnership. This is true even without any type of contract or written agreement. In the past, this might have been called a “handshake agreement.” If you are currently in a disagreement or face partnership litigation, you probably already understand many of the problems with informal partnerships.
We encourage all business partners to have comprehensive, written agreements to provide guidance when disputes arise or prevent them from occurring.
While state laws allow partnerships without formal contracts, there are several different kinds of partnerships that could occur. The details are important when it comes to issues that could arise later. This is because the rights and responsibilities vary based on the partnership type.
We help business owners understand their partnership agreements and determine their next steps in handling disputes. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start advocating for you.
There are several reasons why partners feud. Most come down to money. One partner believes they know what is best for the company, and others disagree. A disagreement quickly turns heated, and no one looks for a compromise. Clients often call us because they are considering a lawsuit, or their partner already began legal proceedings.
When two or more people go into business together, their relationship as co-owners of the company creates a fiduciary duty to one another. The details depend on the type of partnership and other factors. However, this obligation is at the heart of many partnership disputes. Each partner must act in the best interests of the business and their fellow partners.
When one partner acts in a way that financially harms the company, the other partner or partners can pursue actions for breach of fiduciary duty.
Fiduciary duty breaches include:
Some partnership disputes do not directly deal with the partners’ fiduciary duties. Instead, they disagree about the next step in the life of the partnership. Most partnerships do not remain the same forever. Something happens to change the agreement, and these changes don’t always happen smoothly.
Some partnership disagreements we help clients navigate include:
Outside influences also lead to business disputes.
Consider these potential issues partners face:
Our team understands how difficult it is to agree on everything when working together to build a business. However, disagreements do not have to elevate to litigation. We provide dispute resolution guidance and work to help partners avoid trial when possible.
People who decide to go into business together are rarely strangers. They are coworkers, family members, friends, or others who already have an established relationship. This often increases the stress when a disagreement or dispute arises.
There is more to lose than money or control of the company; many of our clients want to preserve their relationships when possible. This is one reason why we often work to settle disagreements before lawsuits become necessary.
When litigation becomes unavoidable, it causes partners to become adversarial, altering how they work together for years to come. In addition, it takes time and money better spent in other ways. Neither partner wants to waste money on litigating a disagreement when that money could bolster their bottom line or help their business grow.
Our team believes in including strong language about dispute resolution in your partnership agreements. There are many options for settling a disagreement before considering litigation.
Options could include:
When possible, we help partners follow their business plans. Even if there is no mention of ADR in their contract or no written plan, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are solid options for many partners. Still, formal legal intervention is sometimes necessary. When this occurs, our team handles all aspects of the lawsuit. We file these suits on behalf of plaintiffs and defend against them. If your partner already began litigation, let us advocate for you.
The possible outcome of your Chicago partnership dispute depends greatly on the case’s facts and your goals. As noted, when we represent a client, their goals become our goals. We work closely with you to understand what you stand to lose and ensure you do not. We know a negative outcome could include financial losses, loss of ownership or control of a company you care about, or other hardships.
We are here not only to manage your legal case and represent you to the judge and jury but to protect your rights, investment, and financial stability. As a part of representing your best interests, we ask what you hope to accomplish. We believe keeping your aim in focus is important. How we approach a case could affect your future. For example, it is often a good idea to avoid litigation if you hope to work closely with your partner again.
A positive outcome in your case could come from:
Sometimes, partnership dissolution is the best possible outcome in a case, and that often creates additional disputes. When this occurs, we walk our clients through the process.
If you decide to dissolve your partnership, you must:
When this occurs, one partner often wants to continue in the same industry or with the current customer base. We can explain your options and how to navigate this if you or a partner hope to keep certain tools or resources, the business name, or inventory to lay a foundation for future work.
Unfortunately, partnership litigation is often very emotional. Partnerships require working closely and managing many issues as they arise. Partners often share many vulnerabilities and rely on one another for emotional support. When things go wrong, anger, frustration, and sadness are common.
This can lead to problems, including:
If this sounds somewhat like a divorce, you are correct. While many disputes end with a negotiated agreement, the parties resolve their differences, and the partnership continues, this is not always the case.
Our team can’t undo the tension between you and your business partner. However, by managing each step of the legal process, we hope to make this challenging time easier to bear.
At King & Jones, our knowledgeable team members provide consultations for those considering partnership litigation or facing disputes with business partners. These cases have very specific concerns and possible outcomes that we want to discuss before moving forward with representing your interests. Our Chicago business litigation lawyers will discuss your concerns, options, and next steps today.
Contact us now by calling (312) 372-4142. With one just call, you can learn why those with business disputes rely on our team for guidance and support.
“I have known Peter King and Bill Jones in this business for decades, and have been involved in cases with them. They are tenacious, exceptionally bright, practical, ethical, and have formidable trial and appellate skills. I have also referred friends and family to King & Jones for commercial and estate litigation and they have always gotten outstanding results. With this firm, you get experienced, well-respected lawyers who care about their clients and always do what is necessary to get the best outcome possible.” – Chuck Hornewer
“These guys just know how to win. Every client with a business dispute, will contest, or breach of contract case deserves lawyers who can take their case into a courtroom and prevail. Peter and Bill have decades of experience, and a unique ability to make a complex commercial case easy for a judge or jury to understand and side with them. I have personally worked in trial with Bill and Peter on behalf of a mutual client. There is no one I would trust more with a commercial case, contract dispute, or will contest than Peter King and Bill Jones.” – Paul D’Amore
“Peter King and Bill Jones are lawyers' lawyers. They are both extremely intelligent and organized. The first thing that I do is call Peter and Bill whenever a complex commercial litigation case crosses my desk.” – William Warmouth