Pollard PLLC has filed a demand for arbitration in a dispute stemming from a member’s ouster from a start-up company that recently appeared on the Inc. 5000 list, a list of the nation’s 5000 fastest growing companies.
In 2009, Florida entrepreneur Robert Sofia joined with two partners to create Platinum Advisor Strategies, a company and a brand operated through two related LLCs. Sofia was a founding member of the relevant LLCs and owned a combined 23% interest in the companies. From their inception in 2009, Sofia was responsible for the day-to-day leadership of Platinum Advisor Strategies and led the company through a dramatic phase of growth. An offer to purchase the combined companies in 2015 placed the value of Sofia’s interest at roughly $2.7 million.
Not long there after, things went south. In April 2016, Sofia’s business partners expelled him from both companies without notice. At the time of his expulsion from the companies, nothing in the relevant operating agreements allowed for such termination. Likewise, nothing in the Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act gave the companies or his former partners the right to terminate.
Pollard PLLC has initiated arbitration via the American Arbitration Association demanding damages stemming from Sofia’s former partners’ breaches of their operating agreements, breaches of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment. In addition, the firm is pursuing a declaratory judgment to hold any non-compete provisions in the operating agreements unenforceable as a result of the formers partners’ prior breaches.
The case will be closely watched, as there is limited case law interpreting Florida’s revised LLC law, particularly in regard to member expulsion.
Pollard PLLC is a litigation botique based on Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The firm’s principal Jonathan Pollard has extensive experience litigating complex commercial cases. He has been honored by Super Lawyers and quoted by state and national media, most recently Bloomberg and FundFire. For more information, call 954-332-2380.