This is Bertram LLP’s credo: “Executives, board members, and owners are entitled to the same high-quality representation as Fortune 50 companies.”
Whether facing transitions or employment-related disputes, individual executives, board members, and owners face a conundrum. If they have a relationship with a large law firm, they may be able to pull strings and convince a partner at the firm to represent them. But, most firms discourage – if not prohibit – these representations because they create conflicts of interest with firms’ large corporate clients. And, although there are many plaintiffs’ firms in any given geography, they typically focus on individual and class litigation — not providing career-centric advice to executives, board members, and owners.
This is one of Bertram LLP’s sweet spots. From advising employers, boards, and executives for over three decades, we have a keen understanding of the unique legal and business issues raised by transactions and disputes faced by individual executives, board members, and owners, including the implications of corporate compliance and legal and professional ethics and reporting obligations. Because we are dedicated to representing executives, board members and owners, we are not taking on the representation of them as a “favor” to another partner or client.
We understand that executive, partnership, and ownership agreements are major transactions, often involving millions in compensation and equity interests. We represent executives and owners in these transactions, including negotiating employment-related agreements, partnership and shareholder agreements, and proprietary rights, inventions, and restrictive covenant agreements. We also represent executives, board members, and owners in disputes and litigation involving these agreements and other employment-related issues, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims.
Our representation includes:
- Transitions in and out of and concerning employment, shareholder, and ownership agreements
- Claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the duty of loyalty by and against executives and board members.
- Disputes that arise in connection with “business divorces.”
- Representation during internal corporate investigations and audits.
- Assertion and litigation of discrimination and harassment claims and whistleblower and retaliation claims by and against executives, board members, and owners.
- Prosecution and defense of trade secret and restrictive covenant claims.
- Claims of fraud, misrepresentation, and defamation by and against employers.
- Prosecuting claims on behalf of former President and CEO of California-based logistics company against former employer alleging breach of equity agreements, acquisition agreements, and retention and employment agreements.
- Represented UK-based executive after go-private transaction, resulting in the payment of over $8 million in severance, bonuses, and value of equity.
- Investigated and resolved sexual harassment allegations of a female Senior Vice President of a major non-profit in Florida who threatened to report false allegations to the media and Congress. Her claims were successfully resolved after the investigation revealed that the SVP had colluded with another executive to concoct and assert false claims to extort from the organization.
- Represented C-suite executive of investment and brokerage firm in post-change in control transition resulting in payments totaling over $5 million.