Founder Disputes

As a full-service boutique law firm, Grellas Shah brings a sophisticated yet practical approach to representing our clients. Our core practices focus on startups, technology, venture law, and complex business litigation. We combine big-firm litigation experience with the agility of a boutique to provide high-quality representation. 

Our litigation expertise spans the range of litigation issues impacting companies, including intellectual property, securities, employment, contracts, and regulatory and internal investigations. When it comes to protecting your company, our team can provide quality legal advice and strategies to successfully achieve your objectives. That includes utilizing mediation as a key to finding the best solution without costly litigation. 

As companies grow, the vision for the future can often diverge as the founders have different or competing interests. Plus, when one founder opts to leave the company, issues can arise if the initial documentation does not clearly outline how a founder can be bought out or otherwise depart from the business. Additionally, questions can arise about who has the final authority to make decisions regarding the operation of the company on a daily basis. 

Without clear documentation outlining how the business will operate and the responsibilities of each founder, miscommunication can lead to disputes that can end up disrupting its operations with financial implications for all the shareholders. 

With our legal team, we can assist you in addressing founder disputes in several key areas: company representation, founder representation, and founder dispute mediation. 

​Company Representation

With our team of corporate and litigation attorneys, we understand the needs of startup companies, the types of agreements at issue, and the market, which means we are prepared to help you to defend your interests. At Grellas Shah, we understand IP and IP litigation, enabling us to protect your company’s most important assets as you build a solid foundation for the future.

Protecting your company also means setting yourself up for success. With that in mind, we can help with the internal and external communication strategy to mitigate legal risk and help from a PR perspective. When building a brand, you need the right communication strategy to support long-term growth effectively.

We also can assist you in setting up documentation that outlines the roles and responsibilities of the founders and shareholders, thus reducing the potential for miscommunication that leads to costly litigation. We bring experience, creativity, efficiency, and practical perspective to every startup, founder, and investor we represent.

​Founder Representation

As a startup founder, you face multiple challenges in getting your business off the ground. Providing founder representation means we can quickly and efficiently understand the documents you have signed or may be asked to sign in the future. We understand your obligations to your startup and the startup’s obligations to you.

At Grellas Shah, our litigation team can help you understand what leverage you have available to achieve a better outcome as you transition your startup to the next level. Additionally, we can assist you in working with the other founders of your company to create a solution that benefits all parties and keeps the company on track. We serve as trusted advisors, not pencil pushers.

Communication is vital to successfully growing your startup. With that in mind, we can assist you in developing a communication strategy to improve your image with your company’s stakeholders while reducing the chances of potential issues stemming from a lack of information.

​Founder Dispute Mediation

Even with the best communication processes and strategies in place, disputes regarding duties and responsibilities are likely to occur between founders. If these disputes continue unchecked, they can quickly become costly and potentially destructive to your startup, ending your dream before it fully matures.

To avoid costly litigation, we offer the potential path of mediating disputes between founders or between a departing founder and the company. The goal is to find a way forward that allows everyone to leave satisfied with the outcome. At Grellas Shah, founder, dispute mediation brings parties together to find common ground and creative solutions to enable both sides to move forward successfully.

We have a depth of knowledge and experience providing tailored corporate law and transactional advice at every stage of the mediation process.

The co-founder relationship is one of excitement and promise, but also stress and high-emotion.  It is not unusual for close co-founders to wind up in a dispute after months or years of working closely together. Between our corporate and litigation practices, Grellas Shah Attorneys have represented countless startups and founders.  And, thus, we have seen more than our fair share of founder disputes.

Representing founders and companies is what we do at Grellas Shah, providing a full range of services needed for startups, their founders, and investors, including representation throughout every stage of your company’s development. Our comprehensive experience in all aspects of startup representation and counseling means we have seen all the various ways founder disputes arise, the options to solve them, and how any resolution could be structured so as to preserve the value of the startup. We can’t say we are the only firm you can find that does what we do. But we can say we do it better, from representation to mediation.


For startups and startup founders looking for streamlined and cost-effective alternatives to traditional litigation, we are proud to have launched Solvd4.  Through Solvd4, Grellas Shah attorneys provide practical, business-minded, and efficient mediation, arbitration, and neutral evaluation services for startups and founders.  While Solvd4 is still in beta, please reach out to us if you are interested in learning more.