Fiduciary Litigation

McGuireWoods’ fiduciary litigation team combines the knowledge of our Chambers Band 1-ranked private wealth services team with our skilled commercial litigators. We represent trustees, executors, guardians, agents and attorneys-in-fact, beneficiaries (including charitable organizations), corporate officers, and directors in pursuing and defending fiduciary litigation. Our deep subject-matter knowledge means we manage these matters efficiently and effectively.

Our fiduciary litigators serve as lead counsel for national, regional, and local banks and other financial services clients across the country. Our experience runs the gamut from routine breach of fiduciary duty matters to complex investment management and diversification claims. Our lawyers also provide advice and consultation to fiduciaries to mitigate risk, and guidance on tax, custody, distribution, and other administrative and strategic issues. 

McGuireWoods’ fiduciary litigators regularly represent clients in:

  • Will contests
  • Probate and estate litigation
  • Trust disputes
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Federal and state tax disputes (income, estate and gift tax)
  • Guardianship litigation
  • Personal and employee benefit trusts
  • Corporate fiduciary duty claims
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Affiliated investment claims
  • Significant and complex investment claims (e.g., securities lending, auction rate securities)
  • Beneficiary class actions
  • Claims arising out of Ponzi schemes

McGuireWoods has developed two unique services designed to reduce legal, monetary and reputational risk while controlling costs and providing budget certainty for our financial institution clients: the Pre-Litigation Dispute Resolution Team and the Third-Party Services Team.

Our Pre-Litigation Dispute Resolution Team helps financial institutions serving as fiduciaries to resolve disputes before they escalate into costly litigation. This can involve assessing and managing risk, developing resolution or settlement strategies, and negotiating early settlements informally or formally through mediation. Our Third-Party Services Team manages high-risk, third-party matters — primarily subpoenas, garnishments and interpleader actions that are particularly complex or involve significant legal, monetary or reputational risk — to keep financial institutions from becoming targets of litigation.

Our proactive approach to litigation management was recognized in Financial Times’ prestigious North America Innovative Lawyers report, which highlighted our fixed-fee service platform that helps banks and fiduciaries resolve disputes before they escalate.

Yet, litigation cannot always be avoided. For that reason, many of our lawyers who handle pre-litigation and third-party matters also are seasoned fiduciary litigators. The combination of our fiduciary litigators with our highly accomplished trust and estate lawyers provides unparalleled client service — a team approach unique in today’s legal industry that produces real results for our clients.