Business and Commercial Litigation

Multinational corporations, local businesses and prominent individuals regularly turn to Brooks Wilkins Sharkey & Turco for business and commercial litigation services in matters ranging from failed business transactions to “bet-the-company” disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages.


Brooks Wilkins Sharkey & Turco does not try to be all things to all potential clients. Instead, we have assembled a distinguished group of top-flight, highly acclaimed business and commercial litigators with extensive trial and arbitration experience focused on the following areas:
Business Torts

Our litigators regularly prosecute and defend business tort claims. Our breadth of experience includes litigating claims involving fraud and misrepresentation, tortious interference, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, violation of non-competition covenants and business defamation. Companies of all sizes look to Brooks Wilkins Sharkey & Turco for “bet-the-company” cases in which losing would threaten the client’s continued existence.

Contract Disputes

Brooks Wilkins Sharkey & Turco has successfully represented clients in the most difficult and challenging contract disputes, often with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. Our success in contract litigation spans virtually every one of our clients’ industries and includes common law and Uniform Commercial Code contract disputes. Whether it is a failed corporate transaction, merger or partnership dispute, long-term service contract, life of the part supply contract, or an agreement to manufacture or install industrial assets, contract litigation is the backbone of our litigation practice. Our lawyers have been called as expert witnesses in other forums regarding Michigan contract law. We have more than 150 years of collective experience trying contract disputes, and do so in virtually every state in the nation and in a number of national and international arbitration forums.

Construction Disputes

We proudly represent some of the nation’s and state’s largest general and specialty construction firms. We have successfully represented those clients in a broad spectrum of construction disputes and arbitrations, ranging from multimillion-dollar design and construction defect claims, subcontractor delay claims, bond and lien challenges, and disputes involving a myriad of publicly funded, industrial, and private projects. We also have successfully represented owners and developers in disputes with general contractors, construction managers and their surety bond issuers.

Director and Officer Liability

We are frequently called upon to counsel and defend directors and officers in matters involving claims by shareholders or third parties. We have successfully represented the interests of directors and officers of closely held and publicly-traded companies in matters alleging breach of fiduciary duty, internal corporate investigations, investigation of shareholder derivative claims, and claims alleging violation of state and federal securities laws.

Dealership Litigation

Our state, national and international automobile dealership clients experience all of the same challenges of any successful commercial operation, except with the added complexity of managing automobile supply, procurement and regulatory issues. We have a proven track record of successfully managing these challenges, based in large part on our extensive litigation experience and unique understanding of the automobile industry. As testament to this fact, our lawyers proudly represent the largest automobile dealership group in Central America and numerous prominent local and national dealership groups. On behalf of these clients, we have successfully avoided litigation by negotiating favorable resolutions with  original equipment manufacturers, litigated multiple business claims on their behalf, and obtained dismissal of multimillion-dollar challenges from competitors.

Employment Claims

Many firms defend employment claims, often as part of their insurance defense practice. Brooks Wilkins Sharkey & Turco is different. Clients do not hire us to handle routine employment claims. Instead, our courtroom and arbitration experience has been limited to high-risk harassment and discrimination claims where millions of dollars or the client’s internal policies were at significant risk. We have successfully tried or arbitrated dozens of these cases where settlement simply was not an option, including a recent no-cause verdict in a multi-week federal court trial with more than $5,000,000 in alleged damages.

Financial Institutions

We are proud to represent some of the largest and most respected banks and financial institutions in Michigan. We understand the laws and business practices unique to the banking industry. Our experience has allowed us to successfully represent lenders in claims involving hundreds of millions of dollars. These claims include disputes between investment capital lenders, fiduciary claims against bank qualified pension asset managers, consumer banking claims, and claims involving millions of dollars in lost or stolen checks.

Information Technology

Successfully handling information technology and software disputes requires a unique understanding of this industry and the process of developing or implementing custom software solutions. A general commercial litigator typically lacks the detailed understanding of the information technology industry that is absolutely necessary to effectively handle a software or IT dispute. Our lawyers are different. Members of our litigation team have successfully handled information technology disputes for their entire career, and our unique base of experience includes trial lawyers with more than 10 years’ experience working as general counsel for one of the world’s largest information technology companies, lead counsel experience in software disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars in risk, and successful trial experience litigating disputes over development and implementation of custom software solutions.


One of the most common crises we manage for our clients involves claims for injunctive relief. This crisis is not limited to any one type of client or industry. Instead, we have handled hundreds of applications for emergency injunctive relief to ensure continued production, receipt of materials, and recovery or protection of valuable assets. Our litigation team has successfully obtained and avoided injunctive relief on behalf of our clients, as the situation warranted. Repeated, successful experiences have honed our skills so we can handle this type of emergency with minimal business interruption to our clients and with efficient, effective legal focus.

Insurance Coverage

We have assisted numerous business clients in obtaining coverage and recovering proceeds under issued policies. Our experience in assisting clients in this area covers a broad spectrum of business lines, including: general commercial liability; commercial auto; director and officer liability; errors and omissions; completed operations; specialty lines endorsements and fidelity bonds. We have successfully recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients from their carriers.

Real Estate

Litigation is an unavoidable reality for prominent title companies, lenders, property developers, and other commercial entities with interests in high-value real estate transactions. Our litigators have decades of experience representing diverse clients in complex real estate disputes, including mortgage and title disputes, commercial lease disputes, lender, finance, and foreclosure disputes, zoning and land nuisance issues, and priority disputes between lenders with competing secured interests.

Professional Liability

When major professional firms desire representation beyond what their insurance carrier may be willing to provide, those firms often turn to Brooks Wilkins Sharkey & Turco for advice and litigation defense. We have successfully represented and defended dozens of law firms and other professional firms in high-stakes professional liability cases.

Trade Secret Disputes

In the cut-throat world of manufacturing, the allure of saving a few dollars or undercutting the next bid by a few cents can mean millions of dollars in business. Our clients understand this ever-present risk, and frequently call on us to protect their trade secrets. We have secured injunctions and millions of dollars in settlements and judgments on behalf of our clients when their trade secrets or proprietary information have been threatened or misappropriated.

Securities Litigation

We are often asked to counsel and defend publicly-owned companies, directors and officers involving claims by shareholders arising under the federal and Michigan securities laws. We have successfully represented the interests of directors, officers and publicly-traded companies in such matters. We have also conducted internal investigations and counseled special board committees with respect to shareholder derivative litigation.

Student Loan Litigation

There is more than $ 1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. Our lawyers have extensive expertise in litigating issues involving student loans. We have defended hundreds of adversary proceedings filed in bankruptcy court contesting the dischargeability of student loans and represent several companies assigned student loans by state-level guarantors. We are also experienced with litigation involving consumer finance issues, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, state statutory and common law claims, and federal preemption issues. We have prevailed in dozens of trials, and many appeals to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Supply Chain Litigation

Several of our lawyers focus on automotive supply chain management issues, including litigation. While this practice includes a number of areas, including drafting supply agreements and terms and conditions, its core remains negotiating and litigating supply-chain disputes. We are proud to represent hundreds of automotive suppliers, ranging from large Tier 1s to small Tier 2s and 3s. Our in-house experience at OEMs, and location in the heart of the automotive industry, gives us a unique perspective as outside counsel to suppliers: we understand the peculiar issues that confront clients operating in sole-sourced, just-in-time inventory environments, facing the constant threat of production interruptions. We have represented suppliers in disputes involving long-term agreements, purchase orders, molds, tools, capital equipment, directed suppliers, sourcing and nomination agreements, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, and financially distressed suppliers and customers.

Transportation Claims

Our lawyers have developed national transportation agreements for some of the nation’s largest manufacturing facilities. As a result, we understand manufacturing transportation from the ground up. We have a thorough understanding of the problems associated with the timely shipment of product, exposure from intermodal transportation, and the risks inherent in using freight forwarders or brokers. Recently, we saved one of our manufacturing clients over $2,000,000 in near certain liability by outworking our opponents and exercising a more thorough understanding of the law in an adversary proceeding involving a defunct freight forwarder.

Shareholder/Member Disputes

Closely held corporations and limited liability companies often find themselves in litigation turmoil, either as result of claims asserted by minority interests, or when irreconcilable differences arise between co-owners. We have a wealth of experience in handling all sides of these types of intra-entity disputes, including minority oppression claims, claims for breach of fiduciary duty and claims for liquidation/dissolution of the entity.

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