Litigation > Fiduciary Litigation

The Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP fiduciary litigation team is a leader in representing both funds and founders in disputes typically arising in the aftermath of purchase and sale transactions. The disputes are inherently intense, personal and emotional. The issues are typically numerous, from wide-ranging allegations of fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, theft of confidential information, breaches of noncompetition agreements, minority oppression, abuse of control and usurpation of corporate opportunities.

The team is keenly focused on these disputes. It has broad experience representing some of the world’s most successful funds and businesspersons in fiduciary litigation matters.

We have guided leading funds through multiple suits against founders of companies in which they have purchased a significant share of stock or assets. We routinely advise clients regarding duties of disclosure of information to partners, members and shareholders, as well as control and change in control issues, management rights and other issues. Our team provides litigation counseling, reviewing transaction documents with a specific eye to potential litigation and liability avoidance issues. The team also presents seminars regarding fiduciary duties to boards of directors, including as part of directors’ onboarding process. 

In addition to experience litigating complex trust and estate matters, we have also represented numerous individuals in litigation related to disputes following the sale of certain interests in the firms they founded.

The team provides a rare service and representation due to the team’s broad and deep experience and focus on these disputes.

Representative matters

  • represented three trustees of a $400 million trust for almost a decade. There have been multiple proceedings instituted against the trustees by the beneficiary and by third parties
  • obtained a $60 million jury verdict in a partnership dissolution case involving one of the most successful and popular premium denim jeans companies in the industry
  • successfully represented a former U.K. ambassador and member of the peerage against his partners and real estate syndicators for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims; recovered our client’s entire investment and attorney’s fees
  • obtained a seven-figure jury verdict representing a nationally known designer and manufacturer against its importing agent for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims
  • represented film producers in an arbitration against a film distributor who had agreed to act as trustee, but then breached the trust agreement; the action resulted in a multimillion-dollar award and injunctive relief against the film distributor
  • represented the accomplished toxic tort litigator in his suit for breach of fiduciary and fraud arising from the sale of certain interests in the law firm he founded
  • represented one of world’s most recognized oncologists in disputes arising from the sale of his oncology publishing business
  • represented an architectural designer in disputes arising from the sale of a portion of her company
  • represented one of the world’s leading museums in fraud and breach of fiduciary claims against hedge funds and others arising from the alleged loss of more than $50 million
  • represented a potential purchaser of several television and radio stations over the fight for rights to the breakup fee
  • represented a leading construction insurer in noncompetition and confidentiality disputes, resulting in seminal Delaware law on equitable extensions of noncompetition agreements
  • successfully represented a Korean client in a federal court action against a billion-dollar retailer regarding the breach of a franchise agreement and various fiduciary duties. After we defeated several motions to dismiss, the defendant settled for a multimillion-dollar payment to our client
  • represented a hotel owner in an ongoing lawsuit against a hotel management company, which involves claims of breach of the management company’s fiduciary duties
  • represented the owner of a major national fitness chain in connection with claims that fiduciary duties were breached by a failure to disclose certain information in connection with the sale of the enterprise
  • successfully defended the owners of a company against claims that they breached their fiduciary duties to safeguard confidential information provided by one of their clients when that information was inadvertently made available to a competitive client
  • successfully sued an insurance company for breaching its fiduciary duty by settling a case over the objection of its insured, who had agreed to release the insurer from any liability or obligation if the insurer paid the amount that it was offering to settle directly to its insured rather than to the claimant
  • successfully sued a former designer for an apparel and product promotion company who had diverted business and appropriated designs to a new company, which she established while working for the plaintiff.