Akin Gump Helps Secure Victory for Client in Texas Fiduciary Breach Case

(Houston, TX) - A team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP helped secure a verdict on behalf of environmental waste disposal and chemical recycling company Emergent Industrial Solutions, LP in a dispute with a former partner owner who left to form a competing business. Following the trial, a jury awarded damages to Emergent in the amount of $725,000, and declined to award approximately $3 million in damages sought by the former owner in counter- and third-party claims.

Although the right of the departing partner to leave and compete was not in dispute, he had spent much of the preceding year working to set up his new, competing enterprise, all while being well compensated as a partner at Emergent. Efforts were made to wind up the partnership cooperatively, but an agreement could not be reached, forcing Emergent to sue for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and tortious interference with prospective business relations.  Emergent also sued the new company and one of its principals for participation in these wrongful acts by conspiracy.  The partner defendant filed counterclaims and third-party claims seeking approximately $3 million in damages.

A jury returned a $725,000 verdict against the departing partner and conspiracy findings against his new company and one of his new partners in that business while declining to award the $3 million in damages sought by the defendant. The jury’s decision also provides a mechanism for Emergent to be awarded attorneys fees.

Akin Gump Houston litigation partner Brian Antweil led the team representing Emergent in the case, which also included Dallas litigation counsel Andrew Newman.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 850 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

# # #