Convolutions and intricate theories form the foundation of the Law. The law is considered to be one of the most ornate yet significant aspects of the daily lives of people and is one of the broadest fields out there. Commercial litigation is one such significant part of the law that one cannot neglect, especially when he/she has corporate or business affairs to deal with.
Commercial litigation, which is also referred to as business litigation, is a part of the law that comprises several types of disputes that may arise in the business context. Disputes such as a breach of contract, partnership and joint enterprise disputes, class actions, business torts, civil litigation, and so on, are a few cases that come under commercial litigation.
Here, in this article, we shall pursue an important aspect of commercial litigation that is the breach of fiduciary duty.
What exactly is a breach of fiduciary duty?
A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when a fiduciary acts in a manner that is contradictory to their duty and there are serious legal implications that follow. The breach of fiduciary duty is quite complex and convoluted, which is why one should have a deep and thorough knowledge of the subject in order to understand the topic. Therefore, a fiduciary duty is a responsibility to act in the best interest of someone else.
A fiduciary duty arises when the relationship with a client is based on unique trust and dependability. The fiduciary has the power to act on behalf of the client in his best interests.
What can be interpreted as a breach of fiduciary duty?
- If a fiduciary relationship existed at the time of a dispute.
- Breadth of relationship and fiduciary duties.
- If any duties were breached within the context of a relationship
- Further, any act of the fiduciary which is not in the best interest of the client is obviously a breach of the fiduciary duty.
- To win a breach of duty complaint, the plaintiff must prove that the fiduciary had certain duties such as acting in good faith, keeping the client informed, being transparent, and pertinent and that these duties were not fulfilled by the defendant. The defendant, thus, failed to fulfill his duties either by misappropriation of funds and other assets or abuse of power.
- Further, a breach is only actionable; when it is proved that the plaintiff suffered damages due to the breach.
Examples of fiduciary relationships
- An attorney has a fiduciary duty to the client
- An accountant has a fiduciary duty to the client.
- The executor has a fiduciary duty to the heir.
- The principal has a fiduciary duty to the agent.
- An employer has a fiduciary duty to the employee.
There are several such fiduciary relationships and commercial litigation revolves around such cases and involves several complexities that can only be understood by a person with a deep knowledge of the subject.
The breach of fiduciary duty, therefore, can be quite serious, depending on the damages suffered by the plaintiff.