This is Bertram LLP’s credo: “Executives, owners and board members are entitled to the same high-quality representation as Fortune 50 companies.”
Whether facing transitions or disputes, individual executives, owners and board members 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, business advice and providing conflict resolution for executives, owners and directors.
This is one of Bertram LLP’s sweet spots. From advising employers and boards, and individual executives and owners 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, owners and board members, including the implications of corporate compliance and legal and professional ethics and reporting obligations. Because we are dedicated to representing executives, owners and board members we are not taking on the representation of them as a “favor” to another partner or client.
We understand that executive, ownership and partnership agreements are major transactions, often involving millions in compensation, ownership and equity interests. We represent executives and owners in these transactions, including negotiating executive agreements, stock option and other equity agreements, partnership and corporate agreements, and proprietary rights, inventions, and restrictive covenant agreements. We also represent executives, owners and directors in disputes and litigation involving these agreements and other employment-related issues.
Our representation includes:
- Transitions in and out of, and disputes concerning, executive, ownership and equity agreements;
- Claims of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty by and against executives, owners and board members;
- Disputes between owners that arise in "business divorce;"
- Representation during internal investigations and audits;
- Investigation and prosecution and defense of trade secret, non-compete and other restrictive covenant claims; and
- Claims of fraud, misrepresentation and defamation by and against employers, owners and executives.
- Representing UK-based executive after go-private transaction, resulting in the payment of over $8 million in severance, bonuses and value of equity.
- Represented C-Suite executive of one of the world’s largest banks negotiate an exit package involving substantial severance and 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 that resulted in payments and equity totaling over $8 million.
- Represented six senior executives (individually) of a large Atlanta-based company who were terminated or resigned in connection with acquisitions and restructurings.
- Negotiated on behalf of seven senior executives of one of the largest federal contractors substantial separation and equity packages in connection with restructurings and individual separations.
- Represented several ex-pats based in Germany and the UK in resolving tax equalization and equity disputes.
- Represented international private property developer in litigation challenging distribution of partnership proceeds for multi-family housing developments.
- Represented a group of executives in the US and Middle East of a large, publicly traded government contractor in negotiations concerning their terminations in connection with an ERISA-regulated severance plan adopted following an acquisition.