The members of Honigman’s Private Equity Litigation practice have extensive experience representing private equity firms, their principals, and their portfolio companies in a wide variety of commercial disputes, with a particular emphasis on disputes arising out of mergers and acquisitions and involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.

Private equity ownership structure and the investment life cycle often impose unique constraints on commercial disputes involving private equity firms and their portfolio companies. Honigman’s litigators know this and work closely with the firm’s experienced private equity transactional lawyers and its advisors in employment, tax, real estate, and insurance coverage law to provide comprehensive responses to legal disputes that are relentlessly focused on achieving the most favorable and efficient business solution for Honigman’s private equity clients.

As Honigman’s private equity clients and their holdings are located throughout the country, the firm’s private equity litigation practice is likewise national in reach. The practice group’s members have tried and resolved recent cases in state and federal courts in California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, among other jurisdictions. They also regularly resolve disputes through alternative dispute resolution procedures, including mediation and arbitration when appropriate. 

Honigman’s private equity litigators also have extensive experience conducting internal investigations into accounting and financial irregularities and other potential misconduct, as well as representing corporations, securities firms, and individuals in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions and other government civil and criminal investigations.

Honigman’s private equity litigators also provide counsel in connection with representations and warranties and directors and officers insurance policies, including coverage disputes. Honigman’s private equity litigators also frequently represent public and privately held companies and their officers and directors in shareholder disputes, including shareholder derivative actions, shareholder oppression actions, and claims arising in connection with the purchase and sale of a business.

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Representative Matters

  • Obtained dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty, gross negligence, and federal securities fraud claims via successive dispositive motions while representing defendant private equity firm and its principals in a $10 million lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; achieved highly favorable settlement of remaining common-law fraud claims at mediation following oral argument on summary judgment
  • Obtained dismissal of putative shareholder class action for securities fraud against private equity firm
  • Achieved early mediated settlement well below cost of defense and within insurance coverage limits of securities fraud claims brought by multiple investors against private equity firm and its principals arising out of portfolio company’s insolvency
  • Engaged by private equity firm facing sanctions for discovery misconduct by prior counsel during litigation with portfolio company’s founders in Oregon state court; successfully petitioned court to vacate sanctions award and achieved favorable settlement on all claims at close of discovery
  • Conducted internal investigation for private equity firm following the discovery of a multi-year accounting fraud by its portfolio company’s Chief Financial Officer; aggressive, comprehensive response enabled client to secure much-needed bridge financing and negotiate settlement with national accounting firm on related accounting malpractice and gross negligence claims 
  • Conducted internal investigation of a private equity portfolio company following a terminated employee’s allegations of fraudulent credit card transactions and harassment; developed plan for corrective action, dissuaded former employee from pursuing claims, and assuaged concerns of key customer that no impropriety had occurred 

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