Since its formation in June 2003, Harrison & Held has been involved in some of the largest, most complex estate and trust litigation cases pending in the State of Illinois. The firm has represented individual beneficiaries and fiduciaries as well as international commercial banks serving as corporate fiduciaries in contested trust and estate matters.
Recent successes for our clients include:
- Dismissal of action against our trust client seeking turnover of over $40 million to a competing trust created by the same decedent.
- Successful appeal in the matter of Handelsman v. Handelsman and Gould. In a case of first impression, we convinced the Appellate Court to adopt the Restatement rule and apply the Probate Act to living trusts in construction actions. Further, we convinced the Court to hold that Will-substitute trusts cannot be susceptible to reformation actions.
- Successful defense of our client's prosecution of a breach of fiduciary duty claim against a trustee and our client's collection effort. The Trustee, who had breached his fiduciary duties and did not pay the judgment, claimed on appeal that our client's effort to collect funds from his bank account was void because it was time-barred. We successfully argued that the Trustee's post-trial activities as well as his appeal of the underlying judgment against him estopped him from invoking a statutory deadline. We also convinced the appellate court that the trial court had implicitly extended the deadline. Accordingly, the trial court's order requiring the Trustee's bank to turn over his personal funds to our client was upheld.
A sampling of our ongoing matters includes:
- Pursuit of Illinois estate tax refunds based on a constitutional challenge to the State's retroactive application of amendments to the Illinois estate tax
- Litigation of trust construction disputes arising out of conflicting provisions in Illinois and out-of-state trusts
- Litigation of conversion, fraud and other related tort actions arising out of trust contests
- Defense of corporate co-trustee in removal action based on fee-related disputes
- Prosecution of construction complaint involving interpretation of trusts created in the 1800ís, on behalf of the corporate trustee
- Prosecution of breach of fiduciary claims against trustees
We have also represented our high-net-worth clients in personal and business-related disputes and negotiations. Current matters include:
- Successful trial of dispute arising out of alleged partnership agreements and conversion of client's business assets
- Owner/contractor construction-related disputes
- Negotiation of contract for CEO of publicly traded company
- Review of employment contracts and litigation of compensation issues