Phil is a trial lawyer.  Although he will search for creative legal and business solutions for his clients, his more than two decades of trial experience for publicly-traded corporations, privately-held companies, and middle-market international businesses in federal courts and arbitration proceedings throughout the country have taught him that some cases simply have to be tried to verdict. 

Representing companies that have both been wronged and accused of wrongdoing, Phil has honed his trial skills in cases involving complex business litigation (including fraudulent transfer and equitable subordination cases in the Delaware bankruptcy court), commercial torts (e.g., unfair trade practices, fraud, trade secrets theft, etc.), cybersecurity/data breach matters, and shareholder derivative suits. Phil also authors the North Carolina Business Court Report, a blog discussing how recent decisions from the North Carolina Business Court impact companies doing business in North Carolina.

Employing a strong work ethic and a comprehensive knowledge of his client’s business and industry—all while keeping legal costs in check—Phil’s clients have achieved successful results at every stage of litigation, from verdicts to favorable pre-trial resolutions (when appropriate).  

Representative Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

Commercial Torts

  • Fortune 500 manufacturer in numerous actions alleging breach of contract, fraud and unfair trade practices, resolving matters through nuisance payments or favorable jury verdicts.
  • Medical device manufacturer accused by national distributor of providing defective product, breach of distribution agreement and unfair trade practices; obtained favorable result following multi-week AAA arbitration.
  • Fortune 500 company in multi-million-dollar action against manufacturer of defective processing systems; recovered purchase price and lost profits from unrealized sales.
  • Multi-hospital health care system accused by relator of multi-million dollar False Claims; obtained complete dismissal of relator’s claims.
  • SaaS provider accused of fraud, data breach and improper data conversion by corporate customer; obtained summary judgment against customer.

Corporate & Shareholder Derivative Suits

  • Medical entity in “true-up” litigation with acquired company’s shareholders following merger, resulting in multi-million arbitration win for client.
  • Owner of privately held company against derivative claims asserted by fellow family-member owners.  Claims dismissed with prejudice.
  • Multiple minority owners of chemical manufacturing LLC asserting direct and derivative claims against member-manager.  Claims settled with significant buy-out for client-owners.
  • Corporation against officer/minority member for breach of fiduciary duty and ultra vires acts for lockout of majority owner. Case settled with minority member resigning and loss of membership.

Bankruptcy Litigation

  • Co-chair in week-long trial representing private equity fund, its portfolio companies and their officers against UCC’s 77-count complaint alleging fraudulent transfer, breach of fiduciary duty, equitable subordination and substantive consolidation.  Complete defense verdict against UCC’s request for $100 + million recovery.
  • Liquidating trustee in numerous adversary proceedings against various trade creditors alleging multiple claims including fraudulent transfers, obtaining substantial recovery for trust.
  • Publicly traded computer company accused of fraudulent transfers by UCC, resolving multi-million dollar claims for fraction of demand.

International Disputes

  • U.S distributor against Chinese manufacturer and its U.S subsidiary for claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair and deceptive trade practices, resulting in significant settlement and extended distribution agreement with manufacturer.
  • British Virgin Island company against U.S.-based private equity fund, where fund sought to pierce corporate veil to hold BVI client liable for judgment against Vietnamese manufacturer. Claim dismissed.
  • Vietnamese furniture manufacturer against U.S.-based distributor for breach of contract. Claim settled for de minimis amount and dismissal of claim.

Thought Leadership

  • Updates from the North Carolina Business Court—A Review of Significant Decisions Over the Last Year, North Carolina Bar Association's Annual Review, October 14, 2022
  • Gathering Evidence in Aid of Foreign Litigation, Lex Mundi Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution North America Practice Group Meeting, September 30, 2022
  • Strategies for Defending and Limiting Apex Depositions, Strafford Publication CLE
  • Operating Agreements: Permission to Compete May Not Be Enough, mylawCLE Presentation
  • Business Organization More Critical Than Business Operations: Critical Investigations Attorneys Should Do When Representing Closely Held Companies, mylawCLE Presentation

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