Commercial/Business Litigation

Every company's litigation needs are different, ranging from fraud and concealment, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation, to antitrust, unfair competition, corporate governance and beyond. Baker Donelson's commercial litigation attorneys handle a broad range of disputes arising from contracts and business arrangements of all kinds for every type of company in both U.S. and foreign venues, including securities, shareholder disputes, contract, insurance coverage, intellectual property, trade secret and business-tort litigation.

Clients rely on Baker Donelson for help with complex business arrangements and deals gone wrong, and look to us for guidance through internal corporate disputes. Because of the diversity of our clients, we have developed extensive knowledge of multiple industries, service organizations and professions. We make it a point to understand each of our client's industries and their particular concerns, and use that knowledge to address every aspect of their business. Our attorneys routinely reach across offices and practice areas to ensure our clients have the benefit of numerous points of view and areas of experience. We know that every client's definition of "success" is different, and we seek to resolve every matter in their best interests.

We're known for our personal and aggressive representation of clients' interests across the nation. Best Lawyers in America®, Chambers USA and Super Lawyers consistently rank us among the top in our fields, Corporate Counsel and American Lawyer Media name us a "Go-To Law Firm," and we're recommended by Benchmark: Litigation. We are leaders in our communities and in the legal arena, as well. Many of our attorneys hold local and national ABA leadership positions, and volunteer their time both inside and outside the courtroom.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of energy trading company and transnational pipe line company regarding the obligation of sellers under a gas purchase contract to refund certain sums. Judgment exceeded $3 million.
  • Successfully avoided complex litigation for a large catfish processing company sued by one of the largest agricultural products companies in the world over an employee leasing contract. The potential cost to our client for the extremely complex case would have been millions of dollars.
  • Represented national company in contesting distribution of proceeds for equipment leases covered by a class action fund arising from faulty computer components. Our efforts resulted in a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Represented a doctor-investor in a securities case, where doctor purchased stock in a closely-held company that had violated the securities laws. We obtained summary judgment for the doctor-plaintiff and return of his investment.
  • Successfully defended Nashville-based insurance agency and its affiliates in class action alleging improper rate adjustments on policy terminations. The opposing party's administrative costs of the settlement exceeded the amount of funds that went to the class and their counsel.
  • Represented a leading building and construction materials company in a $1.6 million dollar suit. The action, brought by seven neighboring landowners, alleged nuisance and trespass caused by our client's quarry and asphalt plant. Ultimately, the jury returned five defense verdicts, finding no nuisance and no trespass on the part of our client.
  • Represented two automotive dealers in a class action case challenging our clients' practice of passing on the business tax to automotive purchasers. The plaintiffs also challenged the constitutionality of the statute and revenue rule allowing this practice. Tennessee court denied permission to appeal, affirming the previous ruling in our clients' favor.
  • Represented former employee in qui tam action in which supervisor stated on more than one occasion that he knew how to defraud the government and was good at it. Settlement obtained for client out of employer's bankrupt estate.
  • Represented a machine distributor against a product liability claim from a customer for $13 million in compensatory damages. Obtained an order granting summary judgment in our client's favor after lengthy discovery was concluded.
  • Represented a tile distributor against a manufacturer's breach of contract claim and obtained a $115,000 verdict in our client's favor on its fraud and breach of contract claims against the manufacturer arising from the manufacturer's breach of an exclusive distributorship agreement.
  • Represented a machine distributor against its insurer in a coverage dispute. Obtained a favorable award in federal court requiring the insurer to pay the distributor's legal fees and costs incurred in underlying litigation.
  • Obtained defense verdict in the first deceptive sales practice case taken to trial by a national life insurance company. The case was tried in a Mississippi county considered to be very plaintiff-friendly, and is only the second defense verdict of this type ever obtained in the United States.
  • Assumed defense of medical device manufacturer in appeal of unfair competition case involving FDA 510(k) approval of calcium sulphate bone void filler, Tennessee common law of trade secrets and patent law issues. Obtained reversal of $10 million judgment against manufacturer.
  • Defended regional shopping center developer in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary relations action brought by limited partners seeking $10 million in compensatory damages. Settled through dissolution of the limited partnership and distribution of retained earnings.
  • Defended funeral home chain and related insurance company and principals of all entities in common law fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract litigation relating to 20,000 burial insurance policies. Settled on favorable terms and developed policies to limit future litigation exposure.
  • Defended refractive laser leasing company in common law fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract suit relating the long-term lease of mobile laser system. Achieved nominal settlement, reinstatement and extension of lease, and dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented merged-out shareholder in an appraisal action to recover the full value of shares in start-up television station.
  • Represented Delaware corporation in a proceeding to stop a restructuring of debt held by creditors short of unanimous approval under a little-utilized provision of Delaware law.
  • Represented liquidating trustee of numerous limited partnerships in liquidating and winding up the affairs of partnerships having extensive real estate holdings throughout the United States.
  • Enforced non-compete agreement on behalf of employer which had trained its former employee in the business of detecting leaks in gas and other fluid lines.
  • Represented commodities broker and his companies in connection with alleged commodity fraud violations. On appeal to Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, obtained a reversal and vacation of the CFTC's $10 million monetary penalty, the largest penalty ever instituted by the CFTC.
  • Represented corporate officer in connection with allegations that corporation had wrongfully converted stock certificates in his name. After bench trial, court ruled that officer was entitled to a return of his certificates, valued at $6.38 million.
  • Represented securities brokerage firm in defense of Mexican cotton merchant's claims of churning and misrepresentation, as well as counterclaim for $4 million debit balance. After successfully dismissing a majority of plaintiff's claims, action settled favorably for client.
  • Represented and favorably settled for plaintiffs in connection with $2 million investment in defendants' "prime bank" securities fraud scheme. Discovered that defendants were operating ponzi scheme involving hundreds of wire transfers.
  • Represented manufacturers in connection with putative class action alleging that material omissions and misstatements had been made in clients' SEC filings and in statements to public analysts. The action was dismissed with prejudice and the dismissal was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Defended major insurance company in consumer class action case over loss of use claims in uninsured motorist property damage claims.
  • Resolved series of 15 separate multimillion dollar lawsuits filed on behalf of major title insurance company against the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. The state recently agreed to a resolution favorable to our client.