Business, Corporate, and Contracts
Success in business requires a solid foundation. The firm takes the time to understand how your business operates to ensure well-rounded advice responsive to your immediate needs and conscious of your future plans.
Brettner Counsel's work in this practice area includes advice and services in connection with corporate or partnership formation, director and officer responsibility, and shareholder rights. The firm also handles general business matters including commercial contracts and professional services agreements.
Commercial Litigation and Business Disputes
Commercial disputes are inevitable in business. Whether you need an intermediary to aid in the resolution of a matter to prevent litigation or a seasoned advocate to go the distance for you in litigation, Brettner Counsel has experience representing corporate interests in the boardroom and the courtroom.
The firm offers a full spectrum of services to corporate clients including both transactional and litigation matters. Brettner Counsel services including assistance in the resolution of a wide variety of contract disputes, data privacy and cyber security issues, property damage and personal injury claims, employment disputes, and complex insurance coverage and risk management program considerations, among others.
The firm understands the value out-of-court resolutions can provide our clients, and we have experience in alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration.
The construction industry presents unique issues in a range of different practice areas. Brettner Counsel works with our clients to protect them from potential disputes that often arise in construction projects. Whether commercial, residential, or otherwise, the firm is here to help you manage your risk, either through your contracts or insurance coverage.
When disputes do arise, the firm works with you to efficiently resolve disputes and achieve goals in a wide range of areas, including public bidding disputes, breach of contract matters, and the enforcement and resolution of liens and privileges under Louisiana's Public Works Act and Private Works Act as well as the federal Miller Act. These acts provide rights and remedies to contractors guaranteeing their performance and payment of subcontractors and material supplies in a variety of contexts.
Cyber-security & Data Privacy
Data is an extremely valuable commodity, and where there is value there is also risk. From assessment, compliance, and prevention to response, notification, and litigation, our firm has hand’s on experience in this ever-expanding area of the law.
Preparation and Prevention
Your data privacy obligations and vulnerabilities are driven by a great many factors including, for example, the nature and size of your business, your industry, your clients, your market, and the manner in which your data is stored, processed, and transmitted. Navigating the patchwork of domestic state and federal regulations and foreign regulations potentially applicable to your business can be extremely difficult.
Brettner Counsel has developed a holistic approach to identify the data in your possession and control as well as assess, update, and implement internal safeguard processes and procedures to minimize your cyber-related risks. The firm works closely with key company stakeholders in your C-suite, HR and IT departments, and any other pertinent employees or third-party vendors, to create a customized data privacy program tailored to your business’ unique challenges.
While Brettner Counsel's goal is to minimize the risk of a cyber attack or data breach through best practices, the firm also identify rules and regulations applicable to your business in the event of a breach. This way, your business is aware of its data breach response notification obligations and has a plan to respond to the cyber-attack/data breach before the event takes place.
As part of this process, Brettner Counsel assists clients with General Data Privacy Regulation (“GDPR”) compliance audits and California Online Privacy Act readiness assessments. The firm has also prepared cyber-attack and data breach response plans, record and data retention policies, Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) policies, and Privacy policies.
Consumers and clients live with the reality of cyber-attacks and data privacy breaches in real time. Still, your business’ ability to successfully recover from a breach depends largely on your ability to respond. At its core, the firm's response services include working with your IT department – or an external forensic IT partner – to quickly identify the source, isolate, preserve, and remove any embedded malware, preserve and/or replace lost or inaccessible data, all of which are crucial to getting your business back online as well as supporting any cyber insurance claim(s).
Depending on level of the breach, the firm also advises our clients on how to notify and protect customers, clients, and employees about your breach and prepare notices compliant with applicable regulatory obligations. Brettner Counsel also has experience representing clients in regulatory inquiries, and assisting businesses with cyber insurance claims stemming from cyber-attacks and/or data breaches.
There are number of ways in which a cyber attack or data breach can result in litigation. While the goal is always to avoid litigation, Brettner Counsel has successfully represented businesses in litigation triggered by such events and are prepared to assist you.
Brettner Counsel advises and represents clients in several aspects of oil and gas law, including oil and gas contract disputes, termination of mineral leases, and negotiation of vendor agreements. The firm also has extensive experience in oil and gas insurance coverage negotiations and litigation. Even with the best vendor agreements in place, oil and gas operators must have the proper insurance in place to protect against pollution clean-up expenses, third party liability, and well control. Whether it is evaluating your current policies or pursuing your carrier, this firm has the experience to advise you on the best way to proceed.
Estate and Legacy Planning
Your legacy matters and your wishes should be respected. While there are clear benefits to preparing your own will or using online forms, the firm is well-versed in the myriad of legal considerations that can impact your property rights, wills, probate, and trusts in your absence. As a function of Brettner Counsel's practice, we help our clients plan their legacy with living wills, durable medical powers of attorney, wills, trusts and estate planning. The firm is also prepared to assist you in identifying and resolving your business succession plans.
The firm assists foreign and domestic clients in a variety of practice areas, including Business & Corporate, Risk Management & Insurance Coverage, and Energy. Brettner Counsel also advises our clients on the expansion of their business in the United States, whether they wish to form new businesses or just expand their footprint here in the United States.
Brettner Counsel LLC is a staunch advocate of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”), and has extensive experience representing individual and business clients at mediation and arbitration.
In addition, Jacqueline Brettner, Founding Member and Managing Partner of BC Firm, is a registered Civil & Commercial Mediator, and currently serves as Chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s ADR Section.
Ms. Brettner has experience resolving commercial and insurance coverage disputes through ADR processes. She believes a successful ADR should empower the parties and their representatives to reach a reasonable compromise by providing an impartial understanding of their respective claims and how those claims could play out in court.
Risk Management & Insurance Coverage
The firm's Insurance Coverage practice encompasses both transactional and litigation matters involving varied business interests and insurance coverages.
Proper risk management ensures your business’ survival in the event of unanticipated liability. But, “risk management” requires much more than simply placing insurance coverage through an outside agent.
True risk transfer requires an understanding of your business in order to comprehensively identify potential risks and responsive coverages. This entails, among other things, an assessment of your business, your market, your clients, your vendors, and your internal processes. It also requires an evaluation of the proposed coverage(s) and policy wording to determine whether the coverage(s) offered will be applied as anticipated in the event an insurance coverage dispute arises between you and your carrier(s).
The consequences of improperly assessing these various components can have a considerable impact on your business’ future. Yet, all too often these considerations are relegated to internal representatives with little or no risk management experience or outside agents with little or no knowledge of your business.
Brettner Counsel understands the business reasons that drive the decision to rely on internal personnel and/or outside agents. And, ultimately, our goal is to help you ensure proper risk transfer. The firm has extensive experience assessing the risks of corporate policyholders and aiding them in structuring a tailored risk management program. Brettner Counsel draws on this experience to identify risks and corresponding coverages and prepare new or modify existing policies and procedures to ameliorate or eliminate risks.
Insurance Coverage Interpretation & Litigation
Insurance coverage can be complex and confusing – particularly following a crisis. And whether your claim is covered under a particular insurance policy’s wording can vary greatly based on the state law under which the policy is interpreted and, to a certain extent, the jurisdiction in which litigation is filed.
Brettner Counsel represents individual and corporate policyholders who have disputes with their insurance companies over the proper interpretation and scope of coverage. The firm's clients turn to the firm for guidance on how a particular policy wording may be applied in a specific industry or context, or in a given jurisdiction – both before and after a claim is filed. This includes advice on coverage placement, historical policy reviews, and coverage opinions from a transactional standpoint. It also includes aiding clients in the claim process and, if necessary, representing their interests in insurance coverage litigation to ensure their business receives the relief it is due under purchased policies.
In this practice, we have successfully represented our clients’ interests at mediation and arbitration as well as in the state and federal courts of Louisiana and Texas. Brettner Counsel has experience interpreting commercial general liability (“CGL”) and umbrella liability policies, Business Owner Property (“BOP”) policies, oil and gas package policies including well control and standalone pollution liability coverages, cyber insurance coverages, Business Income, Interruption, and Extra-expense coverages, Architect and Engineers (“A&E”) liability policies, and a variety of other professional coverages including Directors and Officers (“D&O”) liability policies.