Litigation between trust beneficiaries, trustees, executors and personal representatives is on the rise. Banks and trust companies are at particularly high risk for exposure to claims. With current investment scandals and volatile markets further raising tensions between these parties, there is no indication that this trend will subside anytime soon.
Our Fiduciary Litigation Group draws on our century-old trust and estates practice and the extensive trial experience of our litigators to help institutional and individual fiduciaries design their practices to avoid litigation. We take the unusual step of conducting periodic surveys of banks and trust companies to determine current best industry practices and pass on the results of those surveys to our clients through educational seminars. This process ensures that our clients can institute best practices aimed at preventing unnecessary litigation.
When conflict cannot be avoided, we put our vast experience in alternative dispute resolution to work. We have a greater than 90 percent success rate in resolving matters quickly and efficiently through negotiation, arbitration and mediation. However, in the rare instances when matters are not resolved, our lawyers are skilled at handling trials. In addition, our experience representing trustees means that we can understand both sides of the issues, yielding positive results when representing beneficiaries who challenge estate planning documents or fiduciary actions.
We have a broad geographical reach with fiduciary litigation capabilities in major markets throughout the U.S., including New York, Florida and California. Few firms are able to combine our depth of knowledge regarding fiduciary issues with such a national platform.
Areas of Focus
Trustee of a trust created by celebrity entertainer Britney Spears under a separate conservatorship proceeding under intense media circumstances
An individual in a will contest based on a Valentine's Day card written to our client. Though the court would not admit the card as a holographic will, it would allow it to prove the terms of decedent's lost will, and based on that conclusion, the court awarded the bulk of decedent's assets to our client
Large multi-national bank, which was named executor under a decedent's will, in a challenge of that will by her children. The matter. which we were ultimately able to settle after three years of litigation, involved legal proceedings in both federal and state courts and the production of over 100,000 pages of documents.