Aronberg Goldgehn’s Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Dispute Resolution Group counsels businesses, corporations, partnerships, management as well as individuals holding a majority or minority interest in an enterprise in order to anticipate and minimize the conflicts that often arise from the ownership of closely held businesses.

Our experienced legal team works with clients to prevent and, when necessary, navigate the disputes that frequently develop between majority and minority owners and their businesses.

When disputes are unavoidable, we guide our clients to resolution through mediation, arbitration or litigation, and we work efficiently to ensure such disputes do not impede the daily operations and overall success of the organization.

In a wide range of contested transactions, our multidisciplinary group of transactional and litigation attorneys has analyzed these disputes from both sides. It is our philosophy that the best result is nearly always a transactional solution that preserves and maximizes the value of the business enterprise. As a result, our Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Dispute Resolution group frequently structures, negotiates and closes transactions designed to resolve these complex disputes.

Our Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Dispute Resolution Group members are well-versed in the common characteristics guiding ownership structures that lend themselves to conflicts among investors and shareholders, including:

  • disputes arising from the basic nature of majority-minority shareholder relationships, in which the majority controls the enterprise and works to protect interests that clash with that of the minority

  • conflicts stemming from the minority feeling/being excluded from the benefits of its stake in the enterprise

  • conflicts among parties due to the lack of a ready market to sell the interest, an attribute that has profound consequences for owners, including complicating decisions about the use of resources and the cash flow of the business

The potential for conflict and stalemate exists in all ownership structures, and our attorneys are poised to handle such disagreements in business ventures with majority-minority ownership as well as 50/50 ownership structures.

Our Services

  • resolving, prosecuting and defending claims involving dissenters’ rights, oppression or unfair behavior, breaches of shareholder agreements and fiduciary duty, removal of directors and access to books and records

  • counseling owners in avoiding oppressive or unfair behavior

  • negotiating and providing guidance on buy-sell agreements, voting trust agreements, and shareholder freeze-out or squeeze-out claims

  • planning and effecting ownership transfer or succession

  • negotiating and arranging mergers or reorganizations

  • adjusting governance structures

  • counseling clients regarding executive compensation

  • obtaining the fair value of clients’ ownership stakes

  • resolving stalemate and deadlock issues

Our primary goal is to provide clients with the foresight they need to address the tensions inherent between majority and minority shareholders and their businesses. While the types of conflicts may be foreseeable, every dispute and resolution requires a keen understanding of each client’s unique situation.

Our attorneys’ shared insight and depth of experience help effect resolutions before costly litigation develops. Where arbitration or litigation is unavoidable, our experienced team is dedicated to efficiently and effectively guiding our clients to resolution.

Our Commitment to the Substantive Practice

As a demonstration of our commitment to excelling in our service to clients confronting a business divorce or ownership dispute, Aronberg Goldgehn initiated the formation of the Chicago Bar Association’s Committee on Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes. Two of our firm’s members, Jerry Holisky and John C. Sciaccotta, represent the Founding Members of the Committee and serve as the Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Committee.

The Chicago Bar Association’s Committee on Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes addresses transactional and litigation issues that arise when the relationships among owners of business organizations, large and small, break down to the point where a business separation and/or a lawsuit are the only practical solutions. Squeeze-outs, freeze-outs, shareholder rights, oppression, deadlock, dissolution, court-ordered buyouts and other alternative remedies, business valuations, and contests for corporate control are just some of the topics that are regularly addressed. The Committee’s focus is “cross-disciplinary” – with content, speakers and discussions of interest for both business lawyers and trial attorneys. The committee studies practice under the various business entity statutes (primarily Illinois and Delaware), keeps members informed of case law and statutory developments, and makes recommendations for changes in the law, including those related to civil practice.

John C. Sciaccotta Moderating "Civility in the Profession . . . How to Play Nice," a Chicago Bar Association CLE Program
11.22.19

On Dec. 4, 2019, John will moderate the civility panel at the Chicago Bar Association's annual all-day "Basic Skills Course for Newly Admitted Attorneys."... Read More


John C. Sciaccotta Moderating a Panel at the Chicago Bar Association's 2019 Arbitration Institute
10.18.19

On Oct. 29, 2019, John will moderate "Part Two: The Process of Arbitration: Making an Effective Presentation of the Case."... Read More


John Sciaccotta and Ben Haskin Presenting "Book & Records Requests Under Delaware & Illinois Law: The Dos & The Do Nots" at the CBA's Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Committee September Meeting
08.21.19

They will speak Sept. 9, 2019, at the CBA headquarters.... Read More


Aronberg Goldgehn's Women's Initiative Honors WINGS CEO Rebecca Darr With Its 2019 Inspiration Award
08.15.19

Rebecca accepted the award at the Fourth Annual Inspiration Award Reception hosted by the Aronberg Goldgehn Women's Initiative.... Read More


Paul Gilman, Jerry Holisky, Elizabeth Lazzara and Sheri Zaban Named in the Best Lawyers in America 2020 Edition
08.15.19

Lawyers named to The Best Lawyers in America© publication were recognized by their peers in the legal industry for their professional excellence in 146 practice areas.... Read More


John Sciaccotta Co-Presenting "Making Difficult & Distressed Corporate Divorce & Complex Ownership Disputes Resolvable Through Mediation and Arbitration, Inside and Outside of Court Litigation"
07.24.19

The panel will present Sept. 14 at the ABA's Business Law Section's meeting.... Read More


The CBA's Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes Committee Presents "Business Divorce Matters Seeking Both Equitable and Legal Relief Filed in the Cook County Commercial Law Section"
06.05.19

The meeting will be held June 11, 2019, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.... Read More


Twenty-Three Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers in Illinois
03.20.19

Anderson, Bannon, Brodsky, Christman, Frank, Garmisa, Gilman, Hanekamp, Hayes, Holisky, Johnson, Lazzara, Lichtenstein, Melamed, Morris, Robertson, Schlifke, Scholl, Sciaccotta, Sodikoff, Stark, Zaban and Zaslavsky named Leading Lawyers.... Read More


Seven Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named Emerging Lawyers By Illinois Leading Lawyers
03.19.19

Staci Balbirer, Amy M. Gibson, Benjamin Haskin, David A. Johnson, Jr., Amber O. LaFevers, Lindsay P. Lollio and Timothy R. Nelson have been named Emerging Lawyers for 2019 by Illinois Leading Lawyers.... Read More


Chris Bannon, Jay Frank, Tom Hanekamp, Julie Johnson, John Sciaccotta, Blooma Stark and Michael Zaslavsky Named "Super Lawyers" By Illinois Super Lawyers
01.25.19

Only 5 percent of Illinois attorneys are named Super Lawyers.... Read More


Staci Balbirer, Amy Gibson, Ben Haskin, David Johnson, Amber LaFevers, Lindsay Lollio and Tim Nelson Named "Rising Stars" By Illinois Super Lawyers
01.24.19

No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Illinois are named to Rising Stars.... Read More


Staci Balbirer, David Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Lollio Named Members of Aronberg Goldgehn
01.21.19

Aronberg Goldgehn Davis & Garmisa has named Staci Balbirer, David A. Johnson Jr. and Lindsay P. Lollio as Members of the firm, effective January 1, 2018.... Read More


Ben Haskin and John Sciaccotta Presenting "Books & Records Request Strategies Under Sect 7.75 of the Illinois Business Corporation Act & LLC Act"
11.08.18

They will present on the topic at the Nov. 12 meeting of the CBA Business Divorce & Complex Ownership Dispute Committee.... Read More


Jerry Holisky and John Sciaccotta Co-Founders of the Chicago Bar Association's New Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes Committee
08.30.18

Jerry Holisky and John C. Sciaccotta serve as the Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Committee.... Read More


Jerry Holisky Profiled in Leading Lawyer Magazine's 2018 Business Edition in an Article Titled "Fine Art of Business Divorce Garners Rave Reviews From Client"
08.28.18

"I never felt like Jerry had anyone's interests at heart but mine," says a client in the article.... Read More


Steve Scholl Featured in a Law360 Article About Him Joining Aronberg Goldgehn
08.10.18

Steve says in the article that the chance to join Aronberg Goldgehn gave him the opportunity to work with some top talent in an environment that encourages collaboration.... Read More


Steve Scholl Has Joined Aronberg Goldgehn's Corporate and Transactional Law Practice as a Member
08.01.18

Corporate lawyer Steven M. Scholl, who primarily represents a broad range of closely held and middle market businesses, has joined Aronberg Goldgehn as a Member.... Read More


Five Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named Emerging Lawyers By Illinois Leading Lawyers
03.30.18

Amy M. Gibson, Benjamin Haskin, Amber O. LaFevers, Lindsay P. Lollio and Timothy R. Nelson have been named Emerging Lawyers for 2018 by Illinois Leading Lawyers.... Read More


Twenty Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers By Illinois Leading Lawyers
03.30.18

Twenty-one Aronberg Goldgehn attorneys have been named Leading Lawyers for 2018 by Illinois Leading Lawyers.... Read More


Aronberg Goldgehn Hosting the CBA's Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes Committee's Kick-Off Reception
03.08.18

On April 12, 2018, the firm will host the kickoff reception for the new CBA Business Divorce and Complex Ownership Disputes Committee.... Read More


Seven Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named "Rising Stars" By Illinois Super Lawyers
01.24.18

Staci L. Balbirer, Amy M. Gibson, Benjamin Haskin, David A. Johnson, Jr., Amber O. LaFevers, Lindsay P. Lollio and Timothy R. Nelson have been named "Rising Stars" by Illinois Super Lawyers.... Read More


Amy Gibson Named in Crain's List of The Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago
08.01.17

Aronberg Goldgehn Member Amy M. Gibson has been listed in Crain's Custom Media's inaugural edition of The Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago.... Read More


John Sciaccotta To Be Installed on the Chicago Bar Association's Board of Managers
06.01.17

At the Chicago Bar Association's 144th Annual Meeting on June 22, 2017, Aronberg Goldgehn member John Sciaccotta will be installed on the CBA's Board of Managers.... Read More


Eighteen Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named Leading Lawyers By Illinois Leading Lawyers
04.27.17

Eighteen of the firm's members have been named Leading Lawyers by Illinois Leading Lawyers, a designation awarded to less than 5 percent of Illinois attorneys.... Read More


Four Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named Emerging Lawyers By Illinois Leading Lawyers
04.26.17

Amy Gibson, Julie Johnson, Tim Nelson and Amber LaFevers have been named Emerging Lawyers by Illinois Leading Lawyers, a designation awarded to less than 2 percent of Illinois attorneys.... Read More


David Johnson Co-Presenting "Starting and Running a Home Based Small Business"
04.24.17

On May 2, 2017, Aronberg Goldgehn attorney David A. Johnson Jr. will be co-presenting "Starting and Running a Home Based Small Business," a workshop offered by The Law Project.... Read More


David Johnson Presenting on Corporate Structures at the Chicago Inventors Organization's Pro Bono Law Evening
04.12.17

Aronberg Goldgehn attorney David A. Johnson Jr. will be presenting at The Chicago Inventors Organization's "Pro Bono Law Evening" on April 25, 2017.... Read More


David Johnson Joins Aronberg Goldgehn's Business Law & Transactions Group
03.23.17

David Johnson Jr. is a general business attorney who represents growing companies and medical practices throughout Illinois and Wisconsin in all stages of operation, including in unique and complex transactions.... Read More


Ben Haskin Co-Presenting Admitting Complex Electronic Materials Into Evidence
02.21.17

Aronberg Goldgehn attorney Benjamin Haskin will co-present “Admitting Complex Electronic Materials into Evidence” at the Du Page County Courthouse on March 10.... Read More


Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named "Rising Stars" By Illinois Super Lawyers
01.23.17

Staci L. Balbirer, Amy M. Gibson, Julie A. Johnson, Amber O. LaFevers and Timothy R. Nelson have been named "Rising Stars" by Illinois Super Lawyers.... Read More


Five Aronberg Goldgehn Attorneys Named Rising Stars by Illinois Super Lawyers
01.01.16

Staci Balbirer, Amy M. Rapoport Gibson, Amber O. LaFevers, Timothy R. Nelson and Julie A. Neubauer and have been designated Rising Stars in Illinois by Super Lawyers.... Read More


Jerry Holisky Elected Co-Managing Member of Aronberg Goldgehn
07.27.15

Jerry Holisky has been elected Co-Managing Member of Aronberg Goldgehn. Holisky will share the responsibility for the strategic and operational governance of the firm with fellow member Christopher J. Bannon.... Read More


John Sciaccotta Joins Aronberg Goldgehn
05.04.15

John Sciaccotta has joined Aronberg Goldberg as a member. He focuses his practice on litigation, arbitration and business counseling matters with a special emphasis on complex civil trial and appellate cases brought in federal and state courts throughout the country.... Read More


Amber LaFevers, Tim Nelson and Amy Gibson Named Rising Stars By Illinois Super Lawyers
01.13.14

Amber LaFevers, Timothy R. Nelson and Amy M. Rapoport Gibson have been designated as Rising Stars by Illinois Super Lawyers.... Read More