What is Complex Commercial Litigation?
The term “complex commercial litigation” is typically used to describe court cases involving more complicated commercial transactions, often with particularly high stakes. Unlike standard commercial litigation, these “complex” cases often involve multiple parties, detailed operating agreements with complicated financing, substantial amounts of money, and valuable assets that a company or person has taken pains to protect and grow.
What are some Types of Complex Commercial Litigation?
Examples of cases that often fall into the “complex” category are:
- Whistleblower / False Claims Act Cases: these types of cases can involve supporting clients who identify legal or dangerous practices by an employer, and their attorneys must adhere to specific and strict legal procedures to preserve these claims. The process involved in the filing of a False Claims Act, also known as a “Qui Tam” case, are very specific and involve close coordination with the Office of the U.S. Attorney.
- Partnership or Shareholder Disputes: these cases involve relationships among owners of a business that have broken down and threaten the viability and value of interests held by one or more owners of the business.
- Oppressed Shareholder Cases: these cases present situations where an owner holding a minority interest in a business has been dealt with unfairly or compensated in a manner that does not reflect his or her true ownership interest, and the individual owner’s minority status limits his or her ability to address the oppression.
- Intellectual Property Disputes: these cases involve the violation or misuse of copyrighted, trademarked, and/or patented intellectual properties.
- Trade Secret Claims: these cases typically involve a business seeking to enforce a restrictive covenant (e.g. a confidentiality provision in a purchase agreement or employment contract) or to protect against the release of trade secrets or other confidential information.
- Unfair Competition or Non-Solicitation: in these cases, a business is attempting to enforce a non-solicitation or non-compete clause in a contract or employment agreement, so as to protect against unfair competition by a former employee or party to a sale agreement. Individual clients will often need legal protection against employers who seek to restrain an employee from working for a competitor.
- First Amendment Cases: these are incidents in which one’s freedom of speech, religion, expression, assembly and/or right to petition are either suppressed or in question.
- Fraud: cases that fall into this category are any that involve unlawful gains through intentional deception and/or unethical means. Examples include credit card fraud, fraudulent wire transfers, bank fraud, and tax fraud, among others.
How to Prepare for Complex Commercial Litigation
While all legal matters have a certain degree of complexity, the circumstances involved in the cases described above present issues that fall into the “complex litigation” category. The underlying agreements can be complicated, the stakes can be high and the matters can move swiftly, often involving emergent court applications, requests for injunctions, and restraining orders. These types of disputes should only be addressed by experienced attorneys that possess the right set of skills.
Experienced lawyers can quickly analyze and interpret the factual and legal complications inherent in these matters, developing strategies and procedures that realistically pursue an outcome that maximizes a client’s return.
Complex cases can drag on with clients incurring significant costs. Experienced attorneys take the possibility of a protracted dispute into account when formulating the right approach for a client.
Thankfully, the attorneys at Byrnes O’Hern & Heugle have handled many matters involving complex litigation in both state and federal courts in New Jersey. If you need assistance navigating a potential complex dispute, we offer free consultations designed to enable you to realistically assess risks and likelihood of success.
Outcomes for Complex Commercial Litigation
Attorneys that are adequately prepared for these types of cases and scenarios will keep all options on the table in order to reach the absolute best possible outcome.
Whether this is through a traditional courtroom victory, binding arbitration or an out-of-court settlement, your attorney will assess all available avenues, and help choose the course that will minimize costs as much as possible, while also yielding the most ideal results for the future of both you and your business.