Richard E. Mancuso, Thomas O’Connor and Kathryn O’Neill represented a national importer of dairy products in a series of asset sale transactions, whereby our client was able to sell each division of his company to different buyers. As part of the transaction, the Firm successfully negotiated a fifteen (15) year earn-out agreement for our client. The sale also involved the transfer of trademarks and inventory.
Harry E. Peden, III, Kevin A. Walsh and Kathryn O’Neill represented a national healthcare company in obtaining a $200,000,000 loan. As part of the transaction, the Firm negotiated loan documents, and addressed a series of tax considerations.
Tom O’Connor and Rod Saggese obtained complete dismissal of a former employee’s claims – seeking more than $300,000 – on behalf of a Fairfield County-based oil tanker brokerage and its principals. The initial proceedings took place before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”), and subsequently litigated to judgment before Connecticut’s Superior, Appellate, and Supreme Courts. After the CHRO declined to pursue the employee’s claims, she and her husband brought a thirteen-count complaint in the Superior Court against the brokerage and four of its current and former principals. Tom and Rod obtained an order striking eleven of the thirteen counts, and secured a judgment dismissing all claims against three of the principals. Their subsequent motion for summary judgment successfully disposed of the remaining counts, which alleged age discrimination, “statutory forgery” and loss of consortium. Benedetto v. Dietze & Assocs. LLC, 2014 WL 1814284 (Conn. Super. Apr. 10, 2014). Tom and Rod also successfully opposed the plaintiffs’ belated attempts to pursue discovery, which would have delayed a decision on summary judgment and increased the costs of litigation. After briefing and oral argument (by Tom), the Appellate Court affirmed summary judgment, Benedetto v. Dietze & Assocs. LLC, 159 Conn. App. 874 (2015), and Attorneys O’Connor and Saggese then defeated the plaintiffs’ subsequent petition for certification to Connecticut’s Supreme Court. Benedetto v. Dietze & Assocs. LLC, 320 Conn. 901 (2015).
Connecticut Lawyer magazine highlighted a recent decision by the Superior Court agreeing with the Firm’s argument that claims to pierce the veil of a corporation are governed by the law of the state of incorporation. In that decision, the Superior Court held that the law of the Turks & Caicos Islands governs the veil-piercing claim brought against our clients by a major European bank, which argued that New York or Connecticut law should apply instead. The case team is composed of Charles W. Pieterse, Thomas P. O’Connor, and Wyatt R. Jansen. The Firm acts as local counsel for Zaroff & Zaroff LLP in the action.
The Superior Court of Connecticut affirmed the grant of a variance to a commercial building in downtown Greenwich, Connecticut. Jim Fulton successfully tried the case for the building owner, who is now permitted to expand her use of the second floor of the building and offer it to a broader class of tenants in the Greenwich Business Retail Zone. Street Retail, Inc. v. Zoning Baord of Appeals of the Town of Greenwich, 2015 WL 8487853 (Conn. Super. Nov. 12, 2015).
Whitman Breed Partners and Associates have been named “Connecticut Super Lawyers®” for 2015. Connecticut selection information at http://www.superlawyers.com/connecticut/selection_details.html
Terry Coates (Estate Planning & Probate), Charles Pieterse (Trusts & Estates Litigation), Jim Riley (Business Litigation), Luke Tashjian (Rising Star – Estate Planning & Administration) and Kathryn O’Neill (Rising Star – Business/Corporate) were named Connecticut Super Lawyers.
Jim Fulton successfully represented a homeowner in opposing a neighbor’s application for a variance to construct a substantial addition onto a pre-existing non-conforming dwelling. Following the presentation of witnesses and oral argument, the Greenwich Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals denied the application for a variance and barred construction of the new addition.
Jim Fulton was published in the Connecticut Lawyer Magazine for his article “Succeeding by Summary Judgment: Is it Time to Recognize the Sham Affidavit Rule in the State Courts of Connecticut.”
Kevin A. Walsh and Kathryn O’Neill represented a national online apparel retailer in purchasing the assets of a local company. The assets included intellectual property, product inventory and international manufacturing contracts.
On behalf of a group of homeowners, Jim Fulton successfully opposed a neighbor’s application for a special exception to construct a garage and accessory building on his property within a few feet of the boundary line. Following the presentation of witnesses and oral argument, the Greenwich Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals denied the application for special exception and barred construction of the new building.
Richard Mancuso and Kathryn O’Neill represented an independent electronics broker with operations throughout Asia and the Americas in the sale of its assets to an international conglomerate based in Europe. The seller had a history in the electronic components brokerage and distribution industry that traced back over forty years. The buyer is an industry leader in equipment and electronics manufacturing with worldwide operations. The cross-border negotiations spanned six months and brought to the buyer valuable sourcing and distribution services in the electronics component industry that will enable the buyer to achieve new efficiencies in manufacturing and production. The transaction involved the transfer of worldwide assets including equipment, inventory, real estate leases, and intellectual property as well as the transfer of valuable sales and purchasing employees. As part of the transaction, Richard also negotiated an employment agreement for the principal member of the seller to provide key services to the buyer post-closing. Assisting on the transaction was Legal Assistant, Caitlin Machcinski.
Tom O’Connor was honored as one of Fairfield County’s top “40 Under 40” by the Fairfield County Business Journal, in its June 22, 2015 special issue. The honorees were selected from across Fairfield County’s diverse business community for their leadership, vision, and excellence in their professions.
Harry E. Peden, III and Kathryn O’Neill represented the shareholders of a privately-held insurance company in the sale of its stock to national insurance firm. Negotiations spanned six months and resulted in a purchase price of over $20,000,000.
Rod Saggese was elected Vice President of the Fairfield County Bar Association for 2015-2016. Rod previously held the positions of Treasurer (2013-2014) and Secretary (2014-2015), and has served on the Board of Directors since 2010.
The Supreme Court of Connecticut issued its decision and reinstated judgment for the defendant in the case of Stuart v. Freiberg, reversing an earlier decision of the Appellate Court, which had overturned the trial court’s entry of judgment for the defendant. Jim Fulton represented the successful defendant, Mr. Freiberg, who was exonerated after having been sued for accounting malpractice related to professional services he provided to the executor of a multi-million dollar estate that owned a number of original Norman Rockwell works of art. The trial court granted summary judgment in Mr. Freiberg’s favor, which was then appealed by the plaintiffs. Jim represented Mr. Freiberg at the trial court level and argued both the appeal at the Appellate Court and, after a grant of certification, at the Supreme Court. Stuart v. Freiberg, 316 Conn. 809 (2015).
The Firm is pleased to announce that Luke Tashjian has joined the Firm as an associate in the Trust & Estates, Business Law and Tax Departments. Luke previously practiced in Massachusetts and Connecticut, most recently with Stuart B. Ratner P.C. in Stamford, Connecticut.
Rod Saggese was elected to the Board of Directors of the Greenwich Point Conservancy. The organization’s mission is to work for the restoration and preservation of historic structures and other elements of Greenwich Point, for the enjoyment of current and future generations. Rod previsiously sat on the Advisory Board for the organization.
Charlie Pieterse sat on a panel for a continuing legal education seminar presented by the Connecticut Bar Association. Charlie gave a presentation entitled “Drafting Trustee Releases and Beneficiary Consents.”
Harry E. Peden, III and Kathryn O’Neill represented a veterinary hospital in the sale of its assets. The transaction involved numerous corporate governance matters, as the seller had over fifty shareholders. Harry and Kathryn also worked closely with the buyer’s counsel to successful assign material contracts at the closing, including multiple real estate leases.
The Firm is pleased to announce that Tom O’Connor has been named a partner in the Litigation Department. Tom joined the Firm in 2010 as an associate, and he represents clients in disputes involving complex commercial, professional, employment, real property and landlord-tenant issues.