Executive Compensation Attorneys in Texas and New York
Severance Negotiation • Employment Agreements • Litigation
Kilgore + Kilgore provides leverage for executives in the negotiation and litigation of employment agreements and severance compensation. We represent CEOs and presidents, vice presidents and officers, directors and board members of publicly traded, private, or non-profit corporations throughout Texas & New York.
Our executive services attorneys are proactive in drafting and negotiating employment contracts to ensure that executives' rights are protected when they come aboard. We also represent these clients in litigation over compensation, restrictive non-compete agreements, termination, or retaliation for reporting fraud.
See What Our Clients Say about our effective representation.
Employment Agreements and Separation Agreements
Kilgore + Kilgore enforces:
- Commission agreements and stock option agreements
- Golden parachutes
- Executive bonus clauses
- Proprietary rights agreements
- Clients' rights in takeovers and freeze-outs
Our lawyers have successfully represented Texas and New York executives denied compensation under unfair or fraudulent interpretation of their employment contracts. When compensation is denied on the basis of gross neglect or incompetence, termination for cause, or material failure to perform duties, we investigate to prove that the client met performance criteria and that the company is liable for breach of contract.
Case Study: Glass Ceiling. Our firm prevailed in the case of an executive vice president of a financial institution who was denied a bonus given to the men on her executive team. Another common scenario is termination on trumped-up reasons just before a year-end bonus is due. See also, Malone v. Ariba, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis (5th Cir. 2004). (Executive denied commissions on sale)
Kilgore + Kilgore is frequently called upon to challenge the enforceability of non-competition clauses when an executive moves on to a competitor firm. We seek to demonstrate that the language of the non-compete agreement or proprietary rights agreement is too restrictive or too vague, putting an undue burden on our client.
Case Study: A Kilgore client was terminated from his position as CEO and Director of the software company that he founded. On behalf of our client, we initiated claims in court against the company and its venture capital directors, suing to enforce the automatic vesting of his golden parachute and to terminate the non-competition agreement and proprietary rights agreement. Our attorneys ultimately helped our client confidentially resolve the situation out of court. He has now started another business.
Termination, Retaliation and Defamation
Texas and New York are at-will employment state, with important exceptions. Kilgore + Kilgore represents select executives who suffered termination or other sanctions in violation of state or federal law:
- Wrongful termination or reprisal against an executive for reporting fraud (federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002)
- Retaliation against an executive who refuses to perform illegal acts (Texas' Sabine Pilot doctrine)
- Discrimination prohibited under Federal and/or State law
Executives can also sue an employer for damages for defamatory statements (e.g., false accusation of sexual harassment or drug use), if the defamation was published (including intra-office communication) and caused harm to the plaintiff.
A client had this to say about Kilgore attorney "Ted [Kilgore lawyer Ted Anderson] was that rare combination of an attorney who knew the details of the law very well, but was also able to see the big picture and guide us through the litigation process in a very strategic way. Yne cannot ever say that being involved in litigation is fun but working with him surely was. We really appreciate his technical knowledge and his business advice."
Ron, EVP computer systems company
Notable cases: Kilgore + Kilgore has represented executives in the following companies: Perot Systems; Nation’s Best Sports; IntegraColor, Ltd.; Western Wireless; Kalogridis International; EBS Group; UTArlington; Tonic Software; Baylor Hospital; TXU Corporation; Pilgrim’s Pride; Ariba; Uncle Julios; Magnus Energy Marketing, Ltd; Delta Brands, Inc; US Dry Cleaning Corporation; Sokudo USA; InCube Ventures; SWS Group; Tyson Foods; Hewlett Packard; ALI; Centex; Bear Stearns; and Plains Capital Bank.
Contact the executive services attorneys of Kilgore + Kilgore for proven, knowledgeable representation in your employment rights or compensation litigation case.