Aggressive, Personal and Exacting Representation in Business Litigation

Boston Business
Litigation Attorney

Fitch Law Partners LLP excels in representing both publicly and privately held corporations, general and limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and other entities and individuals in general business litigation. We have a broad range of experience handling contract, trade secret, intellectual property, securities and business-tort litigation. Clients turn to the firm when a deal or a partnership has soured, when complex arrangements are disrupted, when intellectual assets or corporate secrets have been misappropriated, or when their interests are otherwise in jeopardy. Stakeholders in privately held corporations and partnerships also engage us for representation in internal disputes over control, valuation, fiduciary duties, and distribution of assets.

Clients find the firm's aggressive, personal, and exacting approach second to none. We are trial lawyers with extensive experience in business litigation, mediation and national and international arbitration.

The lead partners in our business litigation practice include Peter E. Ball, Ethan Z. Davis, Jonathan W. Fitch, Kurt S. Kusiak and James B. Re. View their individual profiles for more information about them.

Examples From Our Business Litigation Practice

The following are examples of our success in business litigation involving:

Business contracts | Business torts | Close corporations and minority shareholder rights | Partnership disputes | Securities litigation | Construction litigation | Class action and multidistrict litigation | Employment litigation | Intellectual property | Real estate litigation | Unfair competition | Maritime and admiralty litigation

Business Contracts

  • We recovered $18.25 million in lost profits for our client in a breach of contract case.
  • We obtained summary judgment for a major media company that was sued over an alleged long-term contract to provide insurance placement services for our client's employees.
  • We secured an order dismissing all claims against a group of former corporate officers and directors accused of various breaches of contract and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • A contractor claimed an accidental oil spill by our client caused it to delay a construction project and thus lose profits. We obtained summary judgment denying the claim, and we won again on the contractors' appeal in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
  • We successfully represented six former executives of a software company in mediations involving breach of contract cases against the company's parent corporation.
  • On behalf of a national energy company, we successfully recovered a large amount owed by a municipality on a long-term supply contract.
  • We reached a favorable settlement for our client, the purchaser of a large boat, when the seller refused to compensate our client for mechanical defects that were present at the time of purchase.
  • We successfully protected the rights of a group of investment professionals in a contract dispute arising out of their departure from their former company.

Business Torts

  • We won a jury trial for our client, whose insurance had been insufficient to cover a large loss sustained when his commercial building was destroyed by fire. The jury returned a verdict against our client's insurance broker for negligence and negligent misrepresentation.
  • We won a lengthy jury trial for our clients against a real estate developer, law firm and real estate brokerage company and obtained a fraud verdict and chapter 93A verdict in our clients' favor.

Close Corporations and Minority Shareholder Rights

  • In a highly publicized case, we represented the interests of a group of family members in the sale of one of the world's largest, privately held media companies.
  • On behalf of clients who were "frozen out" of a family business, we obtained a judgment dissolving the corporation, compensating our clients for nearly one million dollars in corporate losses sustained during the period of freeze-out, and ordering the other shareholder to pay back corporate funds which he had misappropriated. The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed that judgment.
  • On behalf of clients who were sued for allegedly freezing out a partner in a joint venture involving several restaurants, we defeated a claim for substantial damages.
  • We represented one of two shareholders in a leading convention-industry business in a series of lawsuits brought against him by the other shareholder. We achieved a favorable settlement in which our client obtained full control of the business and the other shareholder agreed not to compete with the business for two years.

Partnership Disputes

  • Our client prevailed at a binding arbitration of a multifaceted dispute with fellow partners, and in obtaining summary judgment in which the court upheld the arbitrator's award against the adversary partners' intensive efforts to have the court vacate it.
  • We successfully helped our client disentangle and separate his interests from those of various entities and partners involved in an Internet business solutions company.
  • We obtained a substantial buy-out and protected the future employment rights of the managing officer of a substantial real estate partnership who was being forced out by his partners in the business venture.

Securities Litigation

  • We have represented numerous corporate officers in securities-related litigation and investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and other government entities.
  • We won a dismissal of our client, a portfolio manager at a large investment company, from a class action suit alleging violations of Rule 10b-5, Section 36(a) of the Investment Company Act, unjust enrichment, and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • We won a substantial settlement in a shareholder action in which we sued an investment advisor for failing to disclose information affecting shareholder investment decisions.

Construction Litigation

  • A contractor claimed an accidental oil spill by our client caused it to delay a construction project and thus lose profits. We obtained summary judgment denying the claim, and we won again on the contractors' appeal in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
  • We successfully represented the interests of a municipality on liquidated damages and delay claims against a prime building contractor and its insurer.
  • We initiated a bid protest on behalf of a developer and won our client the right to rebid the project.
  • We successfully represented the builder of university gymnasium on delay claims against structural steel subcontractor.
  • We have provided effective assistance to a number of homeowners in disputes with general contractors.

Please also visit our pages on construction litigation and subcontractor disputes.

Class Action and Multidistrict Litigation

  • We won a dismissal of our client, a portfolio manager at a large investment company, from a class action suit alleging violations of Rule 10b-5, Section 36(a) of the Investment Company Act, unjust enrichment, and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • We represent a large pharmaceutical consulting and services company in connection with ongoing complex multidistrict class action litigation.

Employment Litigation

  • We have successfully represented many companies and high-level officers in disputes involving non-competition and non-solicitation agreements and have provided advice with respect to negotiating employment and severance agreements. For example, we represented an incoming CEO of a company in negotiating his new employment agreement and obtained a substantially larger benefit and payment package for him.
  • We represent the former Chairman of an investment company based in London, Hong Kong and Boston in a multi-count action against numerous defendants in connection with his wrongful termination.
  • We obtained summary judgment for an employer in a federal court case in which the plaintiff alleged that she was selected for layoff because she was pregnant. The judgment was upheld on appeal.
  • In a multi-plaintiff case in the Massachusetts Superior Court alleging sexual harassment, we obtained partial summary judgment disposing of most of the plaintiffs' claims on the ground that the conduct alleged was not so pervasive or serious as to constitute a hostile or offensive work environment. The remaining claim was arbitrated, resulting in a finding for our client, the employer.
  • In numerous proceedings before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, we have obtained "lack of probable cause" findings on a wide variety of employment discrimination claims against our employer clients.

Please also visit our page on employment litigation.

Intellectual Property, Copyright, Trademark and Licensing

  • We successfully enforced the rights of an entrepreneur in the clothing industry against a large competitor accused of misappropriating our client's proprietary clothing designs.
  • We obtained money damages, attorneys' fees and an order for injunctive relief preventing copyright infringement on behalf of a well-known clothing designer in a federal jury trial, and successfully defeated a subsequent appeal.
  • We enforced the rights of our inventor client in a proprietary real design against a competitor attempting to misappropriate the design.

Real Estate Litigation

  • When a developer sought to build a large building next to our client's commercial building that would have blocked our client's light, air and views, we successfully took action that initially forced the developer to modify the building and eventually forced him to give up the entire project.
  • We represented a buyer against a limited partnership seller under an agreement for the purchase and sale of a multi-million dollar estate property. Certain of the limited partners attempted to block the sale to our client and claimed that the general partner who signed the agreement on behalf of the seller had lacked the authority to bind the limited partnership. The court allowed our motion for summary judgment and our client obtained performance of the agreement ' and the property he dearly wanted.
  • We represented the owners of a commercial property in Boston in a suit for specific performance where the buyer breached the purchase and sale agreement, claiming that environmental conditions excused it from performance. The sale was concluded after negotiations involving, among other things, our ability to prove that no significant environmental conditions existed.
  • Our client's prescriptive easement provided vehicular access to his retail business in a suburb west of Boston. When the owner of the burdened estate attempted to block our clients' use of the easement, we brought an action in Land Court and established our client's rights through negotiation prior to trial.
  • We have represented property owners in multimillion-dollar cases involving the taking of property in commercial distribution centers, shopping centers, subdivisions and industrial parks.
  • Representing 65 condominium unit owners, we won at trial and in the Massachusetts Appeals Court, defeating the claims of several other condominium unit owners that the common area interests of large condominium development were unlawfully established.

Please also visit our pages on real estate and land use litigation and commercial evictions.

Unfair Competition, Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

  • When our client was sued by a competitor for misappropriation of trade secrets and the competitor sought to examine all of our client's files and computer hard drives, we successfully stopped the discovery, obtained sanctions against the competitor and ended the litigation with our client, incurring zero damages.
  • We successfully represented a group of lawyers who were sued for breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of confidential information when they left a firm and started their own firm.

Maritime and Admiralty Litigation

  • We defended the vessel owner members of protection and indemnity associations in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits brought against them by or on behalf of seamen, longshoremen/harbor workers, and passengers, as well as in cargo damage, pollution, and stowaway matters.
  • We successfully represented a foreign ship owner against a claim that its luxury liner caused property damage to a Boston port facility.
  • We defended operators of tugs and barges in claims involving collision damage to bridges, docks, and other vessels, as well as personal injury and wrongful death.
  • We obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for a utility client whose underwater cables were damaged by the dropped anchor of a cruise ship.
  • By means of in rem actions invoking the law of salvage and finds, we have obtained court orders permitting clients to attempt salvage of gold coins from a sunken passenger vessel and historical artifacts from a sunken German submarine.

Please also visit our page on maritime and admiralty litigation.

Contact: Peter E. Ball | Ethan Z. Davis | Jonathan W. Fitch | Kurt S. Kusiak | James B. Re

See the success Fitch has had with business litigation cases>

Dedicated to excellence in business litigation