HDRB&B Wins Important Victory in the NJ Appellate Division

On May 21, 2020, HDRB&B won an important victory in the New Jersey Appellate Division. HDRB&B’s client sold his multi-million-dollar trading company to a global commodity supply chain company. The buyer paid HDRB&B’s client approximately $20 million at closing and was required to pay him another $12 million in the months that followed. Instead of paying the balance owed, the buyer sued HDRB&B’s client for breaching his non-compete agreement and then unilaterally seized his remaining equity in the company. HDRB&B filed a countersuit.

After about a year of intense litigation, HDRB&B’s client met with the CEO and CFO of the buyer and agreed to settle the case. But ten days after reaching the settlement agreement, the buyer reneged and tried to re-start the litigation. HDRB&B filed a motion to enforce the settlement, and the trial court granted the motion. The buyer appealed, and the Appellate Division reversed and remanded the case because the trial court had not held an evidentiary hearing. On remand, before a new trial judge, the trial court held a two-day hearing, with seven witnesses, and found that the parties had reached an enforceable settlement agreement, and entered judgment awarding HDRB&B’s client $7.6 million.

The buyer appealed again. This time, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s judgment in full, finding that none of buyer’s arguments had merit and that the evidence supported the trial court’s judgment that an enforceable settlement had been reached.

Mark A. Berman and Jeremy B. Stein led the HDRB&B team representing the client, and Jeremy Stein argued the appeal. The Appellate Division’s opinion can be accessed here.