Seattle Business Dispute Lawyer

Helping You Legally Resolve Business Disputes

Your business has been a labor of love, growing through your hard work, talent, and dedication. It’s your livelihood and maybe even your legacy. But if there’s a threat to the business or your share of the business interests, your entire way of life and all that you’ve achieved may be at risk.

The legal team at Dickson Frohlich has worked with Seattle business owners, from small start-ups to larger corporations with many branches, helping them face challenges and protect their financial and legal interests.

We know that threats to your business can feel deeply personal and that you may be concerned not just for your assets but for your good name and the name of your business. As your Seattle business attorney, you can depend on us to keep a cool head during trying times and help you make the right decisions for your interests.

When you have a partnership dispute, you wish to transfer your share of the business, buy out your partner, or encounter other disputes involving your business, turn to Dickson Frohlich to represent you and everything you’ve achieved.

Why Choose Dickson Frohlich as Your Seattle Business Dispute Lawyer?

Experienced Seattle Business Dispute Lawyers on Your Side

An experienced business dispute attorney can keep you from making costly mistakes. Our legal team’s years of experience focusing on business law has given us the understanding and insight to help protect your fiscal rights and the integrity of your business.

At Dickson Frohlich, you can expect regular, open communication from your legal team regarding your business matters. We help you identify options for dispute resolution and have the tenacity to fight for you in a court of law. But don’t just take our word for it. We have helped many business clients successfully achieve their legal and business goals.

Understanding When It’s Time to Dissolve a Business Partnership

One of the most common sources of business disputes is conflict and disagreement between business partners. If you’re considering dissolving the partnership that formed your business, or one that you established later, we can ensure that you’re protected.

Whatever the reason you decide to either find new partners or strike out on your own, consult with a business dispute attorney to ensure that your old business is legally dissolved, applicable taxes are paid, and your new venture starts legally fresh.

Legal advice can help your separation be amicable and preserve the business.

Leading Causes of Business Partnership Disputes

Like all relationships, those between business partners can have ups, downs, and conflicts — especially over money and workload responsibilities. The effect on a business if these disagreements turn acrimonious can be devastating, and it’s not unusual for many disputes to cause a business to shut its doors for good.


Differences of opinion on how to allocate funds are a huge bone of contention for many partnerships. Anything from whether to reinvest money into the business or take the profits for themselves to unethical comingling of funds can cause business partners to fight over money.

If the partnership agreement doesn’t specifically list each partner’s profit distribution and liability, then arguments about who is entitled to what share is bound to happen.

Ownership rules often state how much time, money, and effort each partner contributes to the business and how much of a share they have in the business. These issues can turn into legal ones, with your business dispute lawyer helping you fight for compensation for everything you invested.

Intellectual Property Ownership

Each partner may feel that they’ve contributed certain ideas to the business, from the initial vision of the business to marketing strategy, the logo, and inventing the product line. To protect your intellectual property, you need the services of a savvy Seattle business lawyer. Intellectual property (IP) can take many forms, including the training materials and the concept itself.

If you own the company’s intellectual property but haven’t legally documented the ownership or any user permissions, it’s critical to do so. A Seattle business lawyer can draft an ownership agreement to ensure that you still retain rights to your intellectual property even if the business folds.

If there is a dispute over whose idea was whose or who truly has the rights to the intellectual property, the case could end up in court. You may lose your IP rights with a finding that the property rightfully belongs to the business.

Questions About the Chain of Authority

How will you structure the authority hierarchy? Who is in charge? You may start your business thinking that you and your partner will agree on the direction the company will go in, but disagreements are bound to happen, and someone needs to have the final say.

If there isn’t a clear separation of duties, the disagreements can grow until running the business becomes unmanageable, and it will fold.

If you haven’t delineated the separation of duties, it’s not too late to do so. A Seattle business attorney can help you and your partner determine your respective business purviews. If there isn’t an assignment of duties, then the business may not be able to survive.

Disputes Over Long-Term Business Objectives

Being unable to agree on the direction of the business is another reason that partners argue. One may want to expand or even open it to franchisees, while the other is content to maintain a small business and stay hands-on.

Your business dispute attorney may be able to help you buy out your partner’s share of the business if you want to expand and then resolve your issues more amicably — or they may help you buy out your partner so that you can remain a smaller, owner-operated enterprise. They are here to help you achieve your ultimate business goals.

A Seattle Business Attorney Can Help in a Serious Business Dispute

Business disputes don’t always indicate a serious problem between business partners, and disagreements don’t always require legal resolution. However, sometimes, these issues do turn into serious matters, and both or all of the business partners are unable to reach a compromise without court intervention.

Suppose your business problems are so serious that your other partners retain legal counsel. In that case, you need the advice of a business dispute lawyer in Seattle, WA, with experience in corporate litigation to ensure you’re protected.

Our Seattle Business Litigation Services

At Dickson Frohlich, we concentrate on federal and state business law and the Seattle municipality regulations for founding, operating, and dissolving a business. We create contracts that protect you in all business matters.

We provide a large portfolio of business legal services to help you in all stages of your business development. We also offer thoughtful advice on all matters concerning a business owner, regardless of size.

Some of our business litigation services include:

  • Breakup and dissolution of a business partnership
  • Breach of contract
  • Partnership disputes
  • Any violation of civil rights
  • Issues with creditor rights
  • Cases involving discovery
  • Fraud
  • Injunctions, emergency relief, or restraining orders
  • Asset recovery and collections.

You may have a unique business that requires confidentiality and finesse. As your business dispute lawyer, we can handle even the most delicate business matters.

FAQs About Business Disputes

Although each industry may have specific issues to disagree about, most business disputes contain many of the same elements. Here are some of the more common questions our clients have.

Can you protect me in a defamation case regarding my company?

The reputation of your company is vital to its survival and success. When there is a threat to your good name, such as slander (false oral claims) or libel (a false written statement), you can hold that person legally accountable. Your business dispute lawyer will prove the falsity of these statements and restore your good name, helping avoid economic damage to your company.

What are my options if someone has stolen my proprietary information or product?

Has your business been negatively impacted because someone has taken something that is rightfully yours? This may be physical property, intellectual property, or trade secrets, but whatever its nature, the item is essential to the unique nature of your business.

We can help you pursue a conversion suit to reclaim what’s yours. This includes investigating the damage that the conversion did to your company and what the tangible and potential losses were.

Can I settle my business dispute out of court?

Yes, at Dickson Frohlich, we often represent clients in mediation, coming to a resolution amenable to both parties. However, contracts signed after mediation are still binding, so you must have a Seattle business dispute lawyer represent you throughout the entire process.

What is business litigation?

Business litigation involves any kind of controversy in court dealing with the course of business or business matters. This can be between partners, a business and its vendors, or any party with a financial relationship with the business.

Business litigation can be dynamic, covering many different areas of the law. Hiring a dedicated Seattle business lawyer means that you’re represented by someone who knows every line of Washington business law, ensuring that you avoid common legal pitfalls.

What are my options if my partner breaches our contract?

Breach of contract is a civil matter that could result in a lawsuit. Your business dispute lawyer in Seattle, WA, will gather evidence of your partner’s non-contractual dealings to determine whether there is an actionable breach. We can then help you explore an informal demand and resolution, and if that doesn’t work, then board-level resolutions or even formal liquidation are options.

Do You Need a Business Dispute Lawyer in Seattle, WA?

If you cannot agree with your business partners about your company’s dissolution, sale, or expansion, it’s time to seek legal help to protect everything you’ve worked for.

The legal team at Dickson Frohlich has the deep knowledge of Washington business law to give you the legal representation you deserve. Contact us today at (206) 621-1110 to resolve your business disputes, from mediation to a courtroom. We are here to help you succeed.

Attorney Robert Dickson

Attorney Robert DicksonThe core of Rob’s legal practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate, and business law. He represents a wide range of clients, from large construction companies to individual homeowners. His is a practical approach to law, which strives to balance the need for a successful legal outcome with a client’s financial goals (or constraints). Outside of his private practice, Rob serves as an adjunct professor at the Seattle University School of Law where he teaches real estate litigation. [ Attorney Bio ]

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    Attorney Thomas L. Dickson

    Thomas L. Dickson

    Tom is an experienced litigator and the founding partner of the firm. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients prevail in their real estate, construction, and business law matters.

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    Attorney Heather Burgess

    Heather Burgess

    Heather represents property owners and developers in all phases of real estate development, from pre-acquisition due diligence through local permitting and appeals.

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    Attorney Robert P. Dickson

    Robert P. Dickson

    The core of Rob’s legal practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate, and business law. He represents a wide range of clients, from large construction companies to individual homeowners.

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    Attorney Daniel J. Frohlich

    Daniel J. Frohlich

    Dan’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate law, business law and probate law. He has more than 10 years of experience as an attorney serving clients throughout Western Washington.

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    Attorney Mark S. Johnson

    Mark S. Johnson

    Mark’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate law, business law and family law. He works tirelessly to help his clients achieve the outcome they are looking for.

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    Attorney Trevor A. Zandell

    Trevor A. Zandell

    Since graduating with honors from law school in 2005, Trevor has been serving the legal needs of businesses, individuals, and families across Southwest Washington.

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    Attorney Daniel E. Pizarro

    Daniel E. Pizarro

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Daniel is active in the firm’s civil litigation department. His practice is mainly centered around real estate law, landlord-tenant law, construction law, and probate law.

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    Attorney Alexander J. Wisbey

    Alexander J. Wisbey

    Alexander Wisbey comes to the firm with 5 years of experience as a litigator and trial attorney. He has first chaired several jury trials and has extensive experience handling arbitrations, mediations, depositions, and settlements.

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    Attorney Andrew Hata

    Andrew Hata

    Andrew is the head of our Transactional Department and focuses his practice on corporate governance, real estate transactions, commercial contracts, and corporate finance.

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    Attorney Kelley Duggan

    Kelley Duggan

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Kelley practices in a wide range of areas, including estate planning, probate, civil litigation, and intellectual property law.

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    Attorney Cambria A. Queen

    Cambria A. Queen

    Cambria is an Associate with Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess in the civil litigation department, where she practices primarily real estate and probate law.

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    Attorney George Knight

    George Knight

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, George is active in the firm’s civil litigation and transactional departments. His practice is mainly centered around business law, real estate law, construction law, employment law, and probate law.

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    Attorney Chris Pierce-Wright

    Chris Pierce-Wright

    Chris comes to Phillips Burgess Tacoma from Seattle, where he served as an associate attorney focused on insurance litigation with Wilson Smith Cochran Dickerson.

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    Attorney Jennifer Yoo

    Jennifer Yoo

    Jennifer is an associate attorney at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess where her current practice focuses on real estate law, contract and commercial disputes, and business law.

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    Attorney Katherine E. Baals

    Katherine E. Baals

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Katherine practices in a range of areas, including real estate, construction, business, and civil litigation.

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    Attorney Kenneth Chan

    Kenneth Chan

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, PLLC, Kenny is active in the firm’s civil litigation and transactional departments. Prior to working at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Kenny was an in-house attorney for a Fortune 100 company.

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    Attorney Brian Buske

    Brian Buske

    Following his graduation from Lewis & Clark Law School, Brian garnered valuable client experience working on international compliance and intellectual property issues.

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    Attorney Kyla S. Bennett

    Kyla S. Bennett

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Kyla practices in a range of areas, including real estate, land use, and civil litigation.

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    Attorney Matt Wand

    Matt Wand

    Matt was born and raised in East Multnomah County in the Gresham area where he lives and has raised his family. His wife of more than twenty-five years is Anne Wand and they have three children together.

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    I highly recommend Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess and if I ever need a lawyer again they will be my first call.

    - Jeremy H.

    I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate this firm! These guys helped me through one of the most challenging legal situations I’ve faced in my life. Their skill and expertise literally saved my business. I’ve dealt with other counsel in the past but the Dickson firm was by far the most competent and tactful counsel I’ve ever received. I would recommend this group to anyone!

    - Keith D.

    It’s a pleasure to work with the guys at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess. One of the first things that stood out to me was how down to earth and friendly everyone at the firm is. I would definitely recommend them.

    - Den L.