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Founder disputes arise when the founders fail to plan for conflict. At the startup stage, many founders are focused on growing the business at the expense of legal formalities. They do not consider how founders will resolve problems amongst themselves if they arise. This approach can come back to haunt founders later on and they may need to seek out a founder dispute attorney to resolve conflict.

For instance, Frank Brown alleged that Snapchat founders stole his idea and cut him out of the company after a falling out in 2011. Payment processing giant Square faced a lawsuit alleging that it cut out the inventor of its portable credit card reader. The Winklevoss twins sued Facebook alleging that founder Mark Zuckerberg cut them out of the company for his own personal gain.

The Facebook ownership dispute was dramatized in The Social Network

Clearly, large-scale founders’ disputes are common. Founders avoid these conflicts by clearly documenting each founder’s right and responsibilities. For instance, legal documents can prevent conflicts by specifying a dispute resolution procedure. They can also create a methodology for valuing equity. Equity ownership always should be reduced to writing with the help of an attorney.

But what if it is too late? What if a co-founder is trying to take your fair share of the company you built together? Unfortunately, sometimes it is too late

I don't have words to thank you the king and Siegel team worked so hard on my case during the pandemic and I am so grateful and proud of my outcome with them. They are reasonable and reliable. Those you can trust .. everytime I had a question they would answer it I recommend them 100 percent.. am so thankful for the team .. my worries and stress are over .. a huge weight over my shoulder was lifted and was able to help my family during this hard time thank you so much king and Siegel team..
Vanessa Ponce
Vanessa Ponce
March 8, 2022
I was really nervous about hiring a lawyer but Julian and everyone in her office made the process as stress-free as it could be. She is kind, reassuring and confident and that helps make the process feel less scary. she also knows what kinds of outcomes are reasonable and will explain in detail why, and has a plan to get there. I cannot recommend her more highly.
Ines Martinez
Ines Martinez
March 8, 2022
I had the pleasure of being represented by this wonderful office and their attorneys! They were very quick about answering any questions and most times explained things so well that my questions were answered before I got the chance to ask them. I had an amazing experience, everyone is kind and very attentive to your wants and needs. A case can be very stressful and they did a great job at keeping me sane and comfortable through the entire process. I recommend them 100%.
Adrianna Sells
Adrianna Sells
October 25, 2021
This in an incredibly professional and responsive firm. There was an ease about getting initial information, scheduling, and working with their talented team. While I found it to be true of everyone that I encountered here, it was Julian Burns King that really went above and beyond. Her expertise, experience, and knowledge of employment law and its many facets coupled with her empathy and compassion for her clients, is truly one of a kind. I would absolutely recommend King & Siegel to anyone in need of legal advice or representation.
Jeri Mares
Jeri Mares
October 12, 2021
Everyone at this firm was so helpful, supportive, and nice. The settlement I got changed my life and working with them was as good as a lawsuit could possibly be. I am so glad I found them for my wrongful termination suit.
Evelyn A
Evelyn A
September 25, 2021
I’m glad I trusted the team of King & Seigel to handle my case they are the definition of professionalism. They were honest and very upfront with the process and kept me informed every step of the way not to mention I’m more than happy with the results. Thank you again to the team of King and Seigel.
Ramon Rodriguez
Ramon Rodriguez
December 9, 2020
Julian & Elliot are very good lawyers and I am glad I trusted them with my case. When I hired attorneys, I didn't know what to look for, but I am glad I found them. They were always attentive to my case and I never felt lost even though I did not have any prior experience with litigation. Ultimately, they got a result I was happy with and I am so glad I had them to help me put this experience behind me. You would be lucky to have them in your corner.
Ryan J
Ryan J
August 5, 2020
I would like to thank this amazing duo and their staff for taking care of my friend and I. They were patient and polite, very prompt, and always professional! Thank you all so much! 💜
Yanni Boo
Yanni Boo
July 15, 2020

Consult with a Palo Alto Founder Dispute Attorney

If you believe you are being deprived of your share of your company, you should contact an experienced Silicon Valley founder dispute attorney as soon as possible. You should not sign any documents without legal representation. You should not agree to any changes in ownership, operations, or corporate structure without consulting counsel. The longer you wait, the more challenging it may be to recover your interest in the company (or its fair monetary value).

A Silicon Valley founder dispute attorney should help you understand your goals and options. For instance, do you want equity in the company? Do you want to be paid out for the value of your equity in the company? Do you want to force the company to abide by a prior agreement, or do you want to reach a new agreement in light of changed circumstances?

Depending on the case, you may have all of these options.

Similarly, a founder dispute attorney should help you understand whether litigation is preferable to mediation or informal, private resolution. In some cases, you may need to aggressively litigate a case to win the shares you were promised.

In other cases, a collaborative approach towards resolution may be best. This approach may be best where there is an ongoing business relationship. Similarly, informal resolution often is best where publicity will hurt the company’s value or where the cost of litigation will destroy the company and your work in creating it.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

King & Siegel can help founders win back their ownership interest, back wages, and other compensation. Our attorneys have successfully represented parties in founders’ disputes concerning companies of all sizes. Our goal is to work cooperatively with you to reach a resolution that maximizes the value of your share of the company. We can help you determine whether litigation is advisable. If necessary, we will fight your case through to the end.

King & Siegel also represent cases for discrimination, toxic work environment, whistleblower retaliation, stock disputes, sexual harassment, and other unfair work practices.

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