pdf

fiduciary litigation

Conrad O’Brien attorneys represent individual and institutional clients who serve others in a fiduciary capacity, e.g., the executor or executrix of an estate, the trustee of a trust, or the administrator of an ERISA plan.  We have obtained successful results for our clients in a variety of matters, including suits alleging breach of fiduciary duty or asserting claims for benefits or monies due under the terms of a particular instrument or plan. 

Clients we have served, and the successful outcomes we have achieved for them, include the following: 

  • Conrad O’Brien attorneys represent the former executors of an estate worth in excess of $60 million in one of the largest estate litigations in the history of Pennsylvania.  It includes challenges to various real estate and stock transactions occurring during the eight-year administration of the estate, which consists primarily of a multi-state commercial real estate empire.  The litigation has occurred over 11 years and included various hearings on ancillary matters and over 70 depositions. After a non-jury trial, the Orphans’ Court issued an adjudication finding in favor of the former co-executors on the vast majority of the Objections (claims) lodged against them.  The case is also related to several other cases in various other courts, including but not limited to a commercial dispute in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Commerce Program (in which the former executors achieved partial summary judgment on the core dispute in the case); a federal RICO action instituted by Conrad O’Brien’s clients against several defendants; and a quiet title action in Delaware Chancery Court.   
  • We represented the co-trustee in a surcharge action alleging mismanagement of investment assets and seeking in excess of $13 million and punitive damages.  After 16 days of trial, the Orphans’ Court denied any surcharge and refused any award of punitive damages.  
  • We represented the executor and trustee in a surcharge action alleging mismanagement of the testator’s law firm and unreasonable executor/trustee fees. Following nine days of trial, the Orphans Court approved the accounting and the executor/trustee fee. The result was not appealed. 
  • We represented the executors in a will contest challenging the mental capacity of the testator and charging the executors with exerting undue influence. After a 12-day trial before the Orphans Court Judge, we secured a judgment in favor of the executors.  We obtained an affirmance of the judgment on appeal. 
  • We represented a plan administrator in a claim for plan benefits under ERISA and obtained a favorable settlement at an early stage of the proceedings.