Maryland Court Grants Firm’s Clients Summary Judgment on All Seven Counts of their Amended Complaint, Dismisses All Eleven Counts of Defendants’ Counterclaims, Finds that Defendants Pressed Litigation In Bad Faith and Without Substantial Justification, and Awards All Attorneys’ Fees and Costs Sought by the Firm.
In a series of orders entered recently by Hon. Ronald B. Rubin of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, Schulman Bhattacharya has obtained complete victory for its clients in a hotly contested dispute over the proceeds of the sale of a major petroleum company, securing relief valued up to $65 million, plus all attorneys’ fees and costs sought by the Firm.
The Firm’s clients, Andrew Sachs, Sachs Capital, LLC and related entities brought litigation last year against EM Group, LLC, Eli Kimel, Barclay Booth, and Travis Booth to protect Sachs’ interests in the proceeds of the petroleum company sale. The Sachs entities invested more than $31 million in the petroleum company and were owed a preferred return on their investment as the sale of the company’s assets approached closing. Despite the governing agreements, EM Group, the Sachs entities’ partner in the deal, and EM Group’s principals refused to provide assurances that they would follow the required payment “waterfall” for distribution of sale proceeds. Instead, the defendants threatened, and then brought, a series of frivolous counterclaims seeking to invalidate the governing investment agreements and leverage an undeserved settlement from the Sachs parties. After filing suit, Schulman Bhattacharya promptly sought a temporary restraining order, which the Court granted after argument, and then the order was converted into a preliminary injunction requiring Defendants to pay into the Court’s registry all proceeds received from the petroleum company’s sale. The Firm then beat back aggressive efforts by the defendants to reverse the preliminary injunction, to pursue unnecessary and wasteful discovery, and avoid summary judgment dismissing all Counterclaims. The Firm also defeated multiple attempts by the defendants to obtain “indemnification” for their legal fees, essentially attempting to get the Sachs parties to pay for their pursuit of illegitimate and ultimately wholly unsuccessful litigation claims.
After completing these tasks, the Firm turned to securing summary judgment on its seven affirmative claims against the defendants for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of a contractual covenant not to sue. On March 15, 2021, the Court granted the Firm’s summary judgment motion in its entirety and, after observing that the defendants and/or their counsel had engaged in bad faith and substantially unjustified litigation tactics, ordered that the defendants reimburse the Sachs parties’ legal fees and related case expenses. After a hearing on April 27, 2021, the Court granted Sachs’ attorneys’ fees petition in its entirety, ordering defendants EM Group, Eli Kimel, and Barclay Booth, jointly and severally, to pay Sachs $723,774.15 in attorneys’ fees and $11,709.31 in costs and expenses.
Reacting to the resolution of the litigation, the Firm’s client Andrew Sachs of Sachs Capital, LLC stated: “I am extremely pleased with the results Jeremy Schulman, Jake Schaller, and the entire Schulman Bhattacharya team obtained for Sachs Capital and its investors in this important case. To prevail on each and every count of our complaint, defeat each and every count of the defendants’ counterclaim, ensure that we recover every dollar we are entitled to from the petroleum company sale, and recover all of our attorneys’ fees incurred in the litigation represents success on an unprecedented level. And to obtain these results, start to finish, within one year, amidst a global pandemic and without having to bear the cost and delay of depositions and document productions, is quite remarkable. Jeremy Schulman is a master legal tactician. He and his team executed their winning strategy with expert precision. Put simply, Schulman Bhattacharya knows how to win cases.”