Matthew D. Donovan is a commercial litigation attorney who assists clients in the resolution of complex business disputes in a variety of contexts, including the ownership and management of closely-held businesses, commercial real estate, construction, and health care. Matt has also served as counsel to federal equity receivers appointed by federal enforcement agencies in consumer fraud receiverships. Matt handles cases through all phases of litigation and arbitration, including corporate dissolution and shareholder appraisal proceedings. He is a frequent contributor to Farrell Fritz’s New York Commercial Division Practice blog and the author of a number of articles on the topic of business divorce. Matt is admitted to practice in New York; Connecticut; the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York; the District of Connecticut; and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Tell me about your current practice.
My practice frequently involves disputes that arise between owners of closely-held businesses, typically family-owned businesses. These disputes often take the form of dissolution or appraisal proceedings under New York’s Business Corporation Law or LLC Law, which overlap heavily with forensic accounting and valuation work.
“Success in the law profession is dependent on knowledge and expertise, which are acquired primarily through hard work. But success is equally dependent on being reliable, responsive, and trustworthy – both with respect to one’s clients and one’s colleagues.”
How do you successfully build client relationships?
By being responsive and available at all times – not just for matters concerning the case, but for anything. To be a good lawyer is to be a counselor on matters of the law and otherwise. Especially in closely held business disputes, which often arise between family members, we may be called upon to navigate an emotionally charged landscape involving much more than a disagreement over the management of the business.
What makes Farrell Fritz different from other law practices?
I think it’s the ability to provide first-rate services and a work product with care and attention in a cost-effective manner. Farrell Fritz marshals its “big firm” sophistication and knowledge in a more regional, middle market. Our clients benefit from a level of attention they might not typically experience at a larger firm.
The firm emphasizes community involvement. Why do you think that is?
I think all members of any profession have a duty to give back. That’s particularly true for lawyers who have a specific expertise and training, which many people find themselves in need of at some point in their lives. Lawyers have a unique capacity to contribute to their communities, and I think they have a responsibility to see that through. To whom more is given, more is required.