Spillane Wins $3 Million Arbitration Award for Investment Bankers

Spillane Law Group represented Claimants Kenneth Kilroy, Ross Kilroy and M&A Securities Group, Inc. in an arbitration against Respondent Adrienne Smith Worley, JAMS No. 1210033774, concerning an unpaid $3 million investment banking fee from the purchase and sale of Ms. Smith Worley’s shares in Young’s Market.  On August 28, 2018 the Arbitrator rendered a Final Award in favor of Spillane’s clients for the full sum requested.

Ms. Smith Worley was the heir, through her mother Janet Smith, of significant shares in Young’s Market, a venerable closely held company currently focused on distribution of spirits.  Upon her mother’s passing there was an appraisal of Ms. Smith Worley’s shares for estate purposes.  Ms. Smith Worley sought potential sale of her Young’s shares.  She hired Berkeley Research Group (“BRG”) and Dr. Carl Lloyd Sheeler to prepare a competitive valuation.  She also hired the Kilroys and M&A as investment bankers to negotiate purchase and sale of her shares at a higher price.

The Kilroys procured potential third-party purchasers for the shares and helped negotiate potential sale of the shares to Young’s itself.  Eventually Ms. Smith Worley reached agreement to sell her shares to Young’s at a price that was double the estate valuation.

The Kilroys and M&A tendered an invoice to Ms. Smith Worley for the $3 million investment banking fee due from the sale.  Ms. Smith Worley declined to pay, claiming that they were hired to procure third party buyers and had performed inadequately and that a fee she paid to BRG/Dr. Sheeler supposedly encompassed any fees due to the Kilroys and M&A.

The Arbitrator’s Final Award fully agreed with each of Claimants’ arguments and rejected Ms. Smith Worley’s defenses.  The Arbitrator found that the Kilroys and M&A did procure potential third-party buyers, that they were hired to negotiate sale of the shares to not only third parties but also Young’s and that their services had assisted Ms. Smith Worley in achieving sale of her shares.  The Arbitrator also found that any fees paid to BRG/Dr. Sheeler were independent and not inclusive of the fees owed to the Claimants.

Ken Kilroy, who had previously picked Spillane to represent him in death-match family wealth litigation after the passing of Marvin Davis, turned again to Spillane for representation in the arbitration.

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