Shotgun buy-sell provisions frequently are included in shareholder and operating agreements, but there’s little evidence that business owners “pull the trigger” with any frequency. This week’s New York Business Divorce looks at one of the rare litigations involving a shotgun provision in action.
Continue Reading Aim Carefully Before Pulling Trigger on Shotgun Buy-Sell Agreement

Deadlock in LLCs with two equal members can be a major problem and trigger for dissolution proceedings, which is why it’s crucial to consider deadlock avoidance provisions in the operating agreement. This week’s New York Business Divorce, and a related podcast interview on the Business Divorce Roundtable, features noted LLC expert and attorney John Cunningham on the topic of LLC deadlock and how to avoid it.
Continue Reading John Cunningham on Avoiding Deadlock in Two-Member LLCs

Agreements providing for compulsory buyouts upon termination of a minority shareholder’s employment can be a good thing. Complications or sometimes litigation sets in, however, when termination for cause is linked to a devalued buyout formula, as illustrated in the case highlighted in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading The Hidden Cost of a Devalued Buyback Upon Termination for Cause

Renowned business appraiser Chris Mercer has written a book called Unlocking Private Company Wealth that’s must reading for business owners and their advisors who should be concerned about wealth management and ownership transition for the closely held and family business. Read more in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading Chris Mercer on Unlocking Private Company Wealth

Whatever doubts you may have had about the perils of using fixed-pricing in shareholder buy-sell agreements likely will be dispelled when you read this week’s New York Business Divorce highlighting a recent decision by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in Sullivan v. Troser Management, Inc.
Continue Reading Missing Certificate of Value Spawns Decade-Long Lawsuit Over Buy-Sell Agreement

Buy-sell agreements in shareholder agreements are supposed to avoid — not foment — litigation over the value of the interest being redeemed or sold. Matter of Grande’ Vie, LLC, decided last month by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, tells a cautionary tale of a buy-sell provision gone wrong. Learn more about this important topic in this week’s New York Business Divorce.

Continue Reading Clash of the Clauses: Divided Appellate Panel Rules that “Binding” Appraisal Per Buy-Sell Agreement Must be Arbitrated

An appellate ruling last month in DeMatteo v. DeMatteo Salvage Co. brings to a close the cautionary tale of an 8-year court battle among members of a family-owned business over the enforcement of a poorly designed buy-sell agreement. It’s in this week’s New York Business Divorce.

Continue Reading An Ill-Fated Solution to an Ill-Fated Buy-Sell Agreement

Last week, in Pappas v. Tzolis, the Appellate Division, First Department, handed down a 3-2 decision reinstating claims for fiduciary breach and fraud brought by members of an LLC against another member who acquired their interests allegedly while keeping secret his negotiations to sell the LLC’s sole asset to an outside buyer at a drastically higher valuation. It’s an important decision likely headed to the New York Court of Appeals, and it’s in this week’s New York Business Divorce.

Continue Reading The Rise and Fall and Rise of Blue Chip: Fiduciary Duty Trumps Waiver in Latest First Department Decision

This week’s New York Business Divorce revisits the buy-out valuation contest going into its third year in Sassower v. 975 Stewart Avenue Associates, LLC, on the occasion of a recent decision by Justice Ira B. Warshawsky rejecting the parties’ dueling motions for summary judgment on the question whether the mortgage balance should be deducted from the subject company’s sole real estate asset in determining the purchase price of the minority interest being valued.

Continue Reading Sassower Case Illustrates Anew the Price of Poorly Drafted Buy-Sell Agreement