Family-Owned and Closely-Held Business Services

Family-owned and closely-held businesses have a unique set of legal needs that require sophisticated, multi-disciplinary advice.  Since its founding, the Firm has focused on servicing such businesses and our client relationships in this area of practice often span decades.  Operating from a single office in New York, our corporate, tax, and trusts and estates attorneys collaborate closely to provide our clients with holistic advice on a broad array of issues, while always keeping the objectives of the owners in mind.  Our real estate, intellectual property, employment law, employee benefits, and tax-exempt organizations teams are also able to lend their expertise when needed.  Some representative matters handled by our attorneys in this area of practice have included:

  • Represented a third generation family-owned manufacturing company in its M&A transactions and succession planning.  Devised a plan to transfer stock in trusts for younger generations in a manner that minimizes transfer taxes and ensures appropriate mechanisms for continued family governance and control.   As a result of the plan, implemented over the course of two decades, a majority of the company stock has been transferred to lower generations without payment of any gift or estate tax. 
  • Advised the principals of a New York real estate development company on estate planning techniques designed to minimize estate taxes and ensure continued family governance and control of real estate ventures.
  • Represented a financial education company in contract work, development of an employee equity incentive program, employment matters and separation agreements, and general corporate and tax advice.  Assisted the owner with estate planning, including a buy-sell agreement funded with life insurance.
  • Advised the founders of a venture-backed web retailer with trust and estate planning designed to minimize income taxes upon new investment rounds and other business liquidations and transitions, and provide for transfer and control of company interests upon death.
  • Represented a closely-held biotechnology company in fundraising, contract work, and general corporate advice.  Implemented estate planning to ensure that future appreciation in the company stock accrues outside the owner's estate.
  • Advised a closely-held luxury beauty products and spa service retail chain in its sale to a major department store.
  • Assisted family-owned and closely-held businesses in a variety of industries in intra-family shareholders agreements designed to foster growth of the business while maintaining family control.
  • Represented family-owned and closely-held businesses in a variety of industries in debt and equity financings (including early stage financings), employment and severance agreements, equity incentive compensation arrangements, strategic transactions (including acquisitions and divestitures), corporate restructurings, contract negotiations, and general corporate and tax advice and guidance.