Shareholder; Chair, Business Divorce Practice Group
Ladd Hirsch is a solution-oriented trial attorney with more than 30 years experience representing companies and high net worth business clients in complex litigation cases and arbitration matters. Ladd is tenacious and pragmatic for his clients in both the courtroom and boardroom in seeking results that meet their short and long-term business objectives.
Ladd has extensive experience prosecuting and defending complex business litigation matters, including disputes involving claims for breach of contract, business fraud, violations of fiduciary duties, breach of non-compete covenants, theft of trade secrets and business defamation. He has litigated claims arising in all of the following industries: real estate, manufacturing, oil and gas, healthcare, commercial lending, computer software and technology, construction, retail sales, insurance, multi-level marketing, beer distribution, food service, and video games.
Since the late 1990's, Ladd has focused a significant portion of his practice handling Business Divorce disputes and related litigation for majority owners and minority investors in substantial private Texas companies. In these Business Divorce matters, Ladd files and defends claims against fiduciaries (officers, directors, managers, general partners and trustees), including claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the entity governance documents and shareholder derivative claims. In this Business Divorce practice, Ladd works together regularly with family law attorneys and their clients to assist them with a wide variety of business and complex property issues that arise in family law proceedings.
Ladd has tried cases to judgment in both state and federal courts, including federal courts located in New York and Chicago, and he has argued cases on appeal at both the state and federal levels in Texas. Throughout his career, Ladd has represented clients in business cases under hourly, contingent and hybrid fee arrangements. Ladd has also been retained in a number of matters by other attorneys to serve as an expert witness on the subject of recoverable legal fees.
Lead author of the Winstead Business Divorce Blog, which provides legal and business resource for majority owners of and minority investors in private Texas companies.
- Numerous representations of majority owners and substantial minority investors holding stakes in privately-held companies to assist these clients in the negotiation and structuring of buyouts of minority-held ownership interests in private businesses.
- Represented minority shareholder in drilling equipment manufacturing company in filing suit contending that he was the subject of an improper squeeze out by the majority shareholder. The case was filed in State District Court in Midland, Texas, and after discovery was conducted, a confidential settlement was secured for the client before trial. Solansky v. Solansky, et al., Cause No. CV48169.
- Co-counsel for wife in Houston marital divorce proceeding involving disputes pertaining to control over marital assets held in private companies created by the husband. Assisted in negotiating and structuring confidential settlement achieved for wife before trial. In the Matter of the Marriage of Kathryn Nicole Manning and John Baines Manning; Cause No. 2015‐04750.
- Represented co-founder and 47% owner of ARGO Data Resources in Dallas. Ladd served as lead counsel in a six-week jury trial for the minority owner in State District Court in Dallas County resulting in a court-ordered, mandatory dividend of $85 million to the Company’s two shareholders based on jury findings that the majority owner had engaged in fraud, minority shareholder oppression and improper withholding of dividends. On appeal of the trial court’s judgment, the Dallas Court of Appeals reversed the judgment and ordered that the minority shareholder take nothing on his claims. This appellate ruling was then upheld by the Texas Supreme Court. Shagrithaya v. Martin, et al., Cause No. 07-15149-I.
- Filed suit on behalf of limited partners in a private Texas beer distributorship asserting claim that they had been deprived of their fair share of substantial proceeds from the sale of the business. Ladd led litigation team that conducted discovery, filed motion for summary judgment and secured a confidential settlement resolving all claims for the minority owners before trial. Joseph Polichino, et al. v. Hillman International Brands, Ltd., et al. Cause No. 2004-346878.
- Secured substantial pre-trial buyout of the minority owner’s 49% interest in a family business after filing suit and conducting substantial discovery in the litigation. This settlement was achieved for the minority owner after the State District Court entered a summary judgment for the client holding that the Defendant/General Partner and Trustee had breached his fiduciary duties. Pickens v. Pickens, et al., Cause No. 02-01105.