Shareholder Litigation

"Watches are so named as a reminder - if you don't watch carefully what you do with your time, it will slip away from you."
- Drew Sirtors

At Sylvester, Oppenheim & Linde Our Shareholder Litigation Practice Includes...

SO&L represents the investors in litigation involving privately (closely) held companies. Smaller shareholders of these companies may find themselves at the mercy of officers or directors who overstep their authority or oppress minority shareholders. Since these companies are not publicly traded, there is less oversight over their operations, there is less accountability and fewer restrictions placed on management.

Officers and directors have a duty of care and loyalty to the corporation. If they breach these duties, misappropriate corporate assets for their personal use, commingle personal and business assets or fail to disclose conflicts of interest, they may be personally liable for financial harm caused to the corporation. Often, shareholders in closely held corporations are subject to Shareholders Agreements which may impose additional duties on agreements controlling shareholders.

As a shareholder you may be the object of oppression when:

  1. The corporation contracts with a business in which one of its shareholders has an interest;
  2. The corporation employs one or more family members of a majority shareholder;
  3. A business opportunity which should rightfully be exercised by the corporation is instead enjoyed by a majority shareholder or a business in which he or she holds an interest;
  4. The corporation of the shareholder dilutes the value of the stock through the issuance of stock options; or
  5. The majority shareholder receives excess compensation.

If you are involved in problems related to a privately held or family owned company, call Richard Oppenheim today at 818-461-8500. Let his personal experience in family (very closely held) business and his legal experience work in your favor. He will be pleased to speak with you personally.

We invite you to call us at 818-461-8500 or you may prefer to use our confidential contact form.