Private Client, Trust & Estate Litigation

Our trial boutique has engaged in some of the most high-stakes and bet the company cases throughout the US during the firm’s 40-year tenure.  Gibbs & Bruns’ trust and estate litigation services are a natural extension of the firm’s complex commercial litigation expertise. Our lawyers are hired repeatedly as trusted and fierce advocates by energy giants, global institutional investors, top tech companies, AmLaw 100 firms, and private clients alike when reputation and significant financial stakes are on the line.

Our accomplished record of successes for trust and estate and private clients includes the following:

Private Clients – Shareholder Derivative Suit
We represented private clients in high-profile breach of fiduciary duty matter involving one of the nation’s largest ranching operations with over 600,000 acres and valuable interests in several Texas banks.

Directed Verdict for Client in $100 Million Breach of Fiduciary Duty Matter
We represented the executor of an estate in a suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and a request for an accounting by a company against its deceased founder.  Plaintiff originally demanded cash and securities allegedly in excess of $100 million. By the time of trial, plaintiffs dropped a number of their claims.  Our client received a directed verdict in its favor at the close of plaintiff’s case.

Private Client – SEC Investigation
We defended the former Chief Executive Officer of major energy company in SEC enforcement matter and in civil securities litigation brought by individual plaintiffs.  We successfully moved to dismiss the individual suit, and the SEC enforcement matter was resolved.

Charles T. Bauer Foundation Representation
We represented the Charles T. Bauer Foundation, a charitable organization created by the late Ted Bauer, founder of AIM Investments. The Foundation was an intervenor in a lawsuit brought by Mr. Bauer’s estranged spouse against Mr. Bauer’s estate alleging that Mr. Bauer mismanaged community property during his lifetime.  Plaintiff alleged over $300 million in damages, an amount that would have depleted all of the Foundation’s funds.  The lawsuit was settled on very favorable terms, and the Foundation was able to continue its charitable giving without substantial interruption.

$30 Million Will & Estate Trust Contest for Private Client
We represented a confidential client in a $30 million will contest and related trust proceeding involving her late husband’s estate. The deceased was a celebrated entrepreneur and investor and was the Founding President of a well-known winery. After extensive discovery, the cases settled favorably one month before trial. 

Favorable Settlement in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Matter
We represented both Defendant trustees in a breach of fiduciary duty suit brought by the trust beneficiary claiming that the trustees were mismanaging the trust and depleted its assets.  We successfully defended against injunctive relief sought by the beneficiary that would have crippled all of the trust’s business operations and settled the dispute on favorable terms for our clients.