Family businesses

We understand and appreciate the challenges – legal, business and personal – involved in owning and running a family business.  Our family business clients include large international businesses, smaller domestic companies and everything in between, across a variety of industry sectors. We begin each representation by cultivating a thorough knowledge of two complex and dynamic organizations: the family business and the business family.  As a result, our attorneys do much more than simply handle legal issues.  We act as a trusted advisor to the family business…and to its owners.

We combine our knowledge and experience in specific areas such as corporate structuring, family and business governance, and business succession planning, as well as more traditional corporate, finance, tax, dispute resolution and wealth planning capability.  The services we provide to family businesses and their owners include:

  • Family Business Succession Planning
  • Family Business M&A
  • Family Office structuring
  • General Corporate and Tax Matters

Recent work

  • Represented the founders of the South Beach Diet in the sale of the brand to a leading private equity firm. 
  • Advised the owners of a third-generation retail business on a sale to a local chain.  The deal was structured to be sensitive to community and customer issues, as well as carefully attending to client concerns about confidentiality and publicity in the face of substantial local media attention.
  • Advised on the sale of a family owned oil distribution business to a regional energy conglomerate, simultaneously assisting the family in the complex and occasionally contentious negotiations among several branches and generations of family shareholders. 
  • Assisted a third-generation family owned conglomerate with the development of a family business succession plan utilizing a Delaware voting trust designed to preserve continuity of voting control by family members who are actively involved in management.
  • Represented a fourth-generation international family business in connection with the development of a business succession plan utilizing a Family Business Trust for the benefit of future generations. 
  • Advised a multi-generational family owned business on an exit strategy involving tax planning for the senior generation and the separation of the family business assets among the three branches of the succeeding generation. 
  • Advising a multi-generational family owned business on an exit strategy that involved inheritance tax planning for the senior generation and the separation of assets between three branches of the succeeding generation and their families. The planning involved a reclassification of shares, payment of dividend and a demerger of the business between the three branches of the succeeding generation.
  • Advising a family business on private equity investment to further growth.
  • Advising on employee incentivization schemes using the shares of the company, employee benefit trusts and other tools.

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