Fiduciary Litigation

Fiduciaries – whether corporate entities or individuals – are charged with protecting the financial well-being of others; performing their duties with care, loyalty, and good faith; and avoiding a conflict of interest.

Whether a dispute arises in the fiduciary relationship – between a trust company and a client, a financial institution and its investors, a company’s board of directors and owners, or trustee and beneficiary - Lathrop Gage has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in fiduciary litigation matters.

An integrated team of lawyers, with experience from diverse disciplines - including financial institutions, business litigation and wealth strategies - work together to advise clients in fiduciary disputes.

We have experience representing a wide range of parties – including banks, trust companies, corporate and individual trustees, executors, administrators, guardians and beneficiaries - across myriad fiduciary-related matters, including:

  • derivative actions;
  • shareholder disputes;
  • retirement, ESOP and other ERISA regulated Plan disputes
  • self-dealing and conflicts of interest;
  • accusations of breach of fiduciary duty;
  • guardianship;
  • trust formation; and
  • estate, will and trust contests.

Litigation Prevention

Proactive identification of potential issues and thoughtful consideration and action often prevents expensive and painful litigation. Within a corporate environment, litigation that pits officers and directors against owners is destructive to the company and the culture. Lathrop Gage advises clients on safeguards to put in place or strengthen to guard against business disruptions and to ensure smooth and peaceful transfer of ownership, leadership and wealth. Issues discussed include:

  • advising trust officers on language and arrangements most likely to result in disputes;
  • ownership and management business succession planning, including:
    • advising on and structuring buyout agreements;
    • interviews with potential new owners/managers and recommendations;
    • scenario planning and job description review;
  • assessing various potential rates of return associated with different scenarios for ownership transitions, and recommending the means to achieve maximum future income.

Estate and Trust Litigation

When parties disagree on estate, trust, conservatorship, guardianship, charitable gifts, and other related matters, our litigation attorneys work on behalf of clients to achieve satisfactory resolution.

Lathrop Gage has a large, well-known group of wealth strategies attorneys, serving the needs of businesses, non-profit organizations, individual and families. Working in cross-discipline teams, our attorneys combine their extensive knowledge of probate codes and courts, their experience advising banks, trust companies, family-owned business and high-net-worth individuals, and their success inside and outside the courtroom to define success and work to achieve it.