In the world of private equity and start-ups, fledgling companies offer stock, options, other forms of equity, and/or other interests such as profits interests not only to the “C-Suite” executives, but also other mid to high level employees. This is particularly true for employees who join the company near its beginning.
These companies are constantly capitalized or sold, often times with the investors having an eye towards obtaining as much of the target company’s equity as possible. This can lead to misconduct related to employees with contractual equity rights.
Employers and private equity groups may knowingly or unknowingly take equity interests from employees in violation of their agreements. This can come in the form of an equity forfeiture (the company takes the stock, options, or other interests by way of simply sending a letter) or a buy back of the equity at cost or $0.
This can lead to seven and eight figure disputes, in particular if the company has plans to go public or plans to be sold in the future.
Contact us for a consultation regarding your stock, equity, stock options, restricted units, or profits interest agreement: