Our practice has included representation of developers, owners, contractors, subcontractors and design professionals. The firm handles legal issues in connection with contract drafting, contract interpretation, change orders, back charges, delay and acceleration claims, lien rights and remedies, contract disputes and contract litigation. In addition, we have experience in contractor license issues. We have assisted our clients with issues involving their rights and liability with respect to performance bonds, payment bonds, and lien transfer bonds. On behalf of our clients, we have negotiated (or in some cases litigated) with owners, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, laborers, material men, bond companies, suppliers, architects, attorneys, bankruptcy trustees, bankers, and public officials. We also represent clients in lawsuits, and in arbitration and mediation.
We represent businesses and individuals in a broad range of business and commercial litigation. We have represented businesses in contract litigation, in shareholder and partner disputes, shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, employment disputes (including non-compete agreements and confidentiality agreements), buy-out disputes, executive employment and consulting agreements.
If you are the general counsel of a business organization and are seeking an outside attorney to represent your client in litigation, contact our firm. With Mr. White’s experience as an in-house general counsel, we understand the need to keep you continuously informed and involved in every stage of a dispute.
We understand what your business has at stake in a lawsuit. The result of litigation can often be extremely damaging to the business. We understand the value of resolving a business dispute quickly. We know litigation is often expensive and that the outcome is always unpredictable. We prepare to take every case to trial, but we also recognize the importance of ongoing settlement discussions with the opposing side. Reaching a satisfactory result prior to trial, perhaps through mediation or arbitration, can be a safer option, and can save you time and money at the same time.
Mediation and arbitration have become fast and inexpensive methods of settling legal disputes. Mr. White have served as an arbitrator for over twenty years, and currently serves on the AAA Construction Arbitration panel, the AAA Commercial Arbitration panel, and the FINRA panel of public arbitrators. Whether the dispute involves a construction contract, a commercial contract, a real estate dispute, or business turnaround or workout matter, we can represent plaintiffs or defendants to help resolve legal disputes fairly and impartially. We are able to conduct alternative dispute resolution proceedings as a means to resolve cases early and at significant cost savings.
If you are a litigant in a dispute in one of the areas indicated above, and are in need of an arbitrator to serve in a privately conducted arbitration, Mr. White is available to serve in that regard as well. His experience as an arbitrator includes serving as an arbitration panel member in a national level, complex commercial arbitration in California, having served as single arbitrator or panel member in a number of commercial disputes, having served in a significant number of securities industry arbitrations, and having served as the chair of a number of different arbitration panels.
This firm brings an array of expertise to reorganization, problem loan workout, and bankruptcy representation. Mr. White has acted as counsel to debtors-in-possession in Chapter 11 proceedings, has served as a Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee, and has represented creditors committees, banks and other institutional and individual lenders, asset purchasers, and a variety of clients in reorganization and liquidation proceedings. He served as the Sr. Vice-President of a company which provided turn-around management, and which acquired businesses with the intent to turn them around and sell them at a profit. This experience allows the firm to enter each engagement in a bankruptcy proceeding with a thorough understanding of the interests, strengths, and weaknesses of every interest group in the reorganization.
However, when a company is in trouble, there are many avenues to explore beside a declaration of bankruptcy. Bankruptcies under Chapters 7, 11, or 13 are viable protections, depending on an individual or business's needs, but not everyone qualifies for them or needs them. Many businesses can effectively deal with their difficulties through a non-bankruptcy workout or turnaround.
Non-bankruptcy workouts deal with loans or major credits that are in or nearing default, requiring lenders and borrowers to discuss a consensual restructuring of the loan. A non-bankruptcy workout is exactly that: a plan agreed to voluntarily by the borrower and the lender under which the outstanding debts will be satisfied. An important advantage for both the debtor and the creditor is that a workout is an agreement entered into without the usual, sometimes complex, features of the bankruptcy process or the stigma that a the public record of a bankruptcy filing can attach to a business's reputation.
For businesses that just need extra time or temporary relaxation of loan terms to resolve relatively minor financial problems, a workout is an appealing option. The key is to negotiate the most favorable new terms without compromising legal rights. If at all possible, renegotiating a loan or other credit makes sense for the company, because the alternatives—losing collateral, facing foreclosure, filing for bankruptcy—are not appealing. Renegotiating also makes sense for the creditor, because in many cases refusal to also a debtor temporary relief will lead to a failure of the business and reduced hope for full recovery on the loan. The workout usually involves renegotiating with one major lender, but it may involve discussions with a number of major creditors. A business workout uses the company’s current management to come up with a better business plan. That may involve restructuring of finances, cutting costs, increasing cash flow, and demonstrating to creditors that the company has a viable plan for repaying debt. We can help with the negotiation process and with the internal measures the company needs to take.
When the business is in truly serious condition, renegotiating a troubled loan will probably not enable the company to pull through. In that case it may need to consider a turnaround. This is a more drastic measure, overhauling entire management and taking an entirely new approach. It may involve a change to capital structure, investment strategy, everyday finances, payroll, and a variety of other areas. With Mr. White's experience gained through acquiring troubled companies, turning them around, and selling them at a profit, we can assist your company in returning to profitability and financial health.
The business may not be getting the information it needs from its various systems. If not, the company may not be accurately executing basic business fundamentals. We can help examine the information processed to help the company obtaine and use more accurate and timely information, which will help the business be better prepared for possible trouble. We can also help you initiate early warning systems, in case you may run into trouble down the road.
Because of Mr. White’s experience in nearly all aspects of the workout and reorganization process, including participation in the process from the inside, enable the firm to provide assistance to lenders and to businesses in dealing with troubled circumstances.
During his experience serving as in-house counsel, Mr. White was involved in the purchase and in the sale of a number of difference businesses. An important and obvious role for the attorney is the negotiation and drafting of the final agreement. Having an attorney who is both an effective negotiator and a skilled draftsman helps keep the transaction on track. A deal attorney who understands the needs of both the buyer and the seller can help bridge the differences and help find a common ground. We can review all aspects of the proposed transaction to protect your interests and facilitate a trouble-free transaction.
For the buyer, purchasing a business or franchise is one of the most exciting events in that person's life. If you are a purchaser, we can review your proposed acquisition from the initial stage, assist you through the valuation and the due diligence processes, help negotiate the deal, assist in procuring financing and negotiating the terms of the loan, and take the transaction to the final closing. After the transaction has been completed, we can continue to provide on-going advice and legal services as your business grows. Financing the transaction usually presents specific additional challenges. Keeping the transaction moving forward while structuring the financing often requires significant experience and skills.
The firm has also represented seller clients, ranging from entrepreneurs selling their successful businesses, established companies and businesses shedding facilities and activities that no longer meet the business’s strategic needs, and troubled companies seeking to eliminate unprofitable or marginal operations as part of a turn-around plan.
Passing a business on to the next generation can provide the owners a great deal of pride and satisfaction. We also help business owners complete successful transactions to transition their businesses to family members. We work closely with your accountants, estate planning professionals, and tax professionals. With our extensive experience and their input, can help you realize a successful business succession.
Whether you are buying or selling a business, or passing your business on to the next generation, you must be very careful. Unless you take care to protect your interests, your dream could become a nightmare. We can provide the advice you need to minimize your risk and increase the likelihood of a successful transaction.