Brian Kirby practices in the areas of corporate and business law, mergers and acquisitions, and trusts and estates. For more than two decades, he has focused his legal efforts on representing corporations and business entities from start up, to ongoing operations, to mergers and acquisitions. He counsels family run, closely-held businesses and companies of all types on matters that mean the most to them.
Whether the legal issues involve friendly business ventures, transactions and opportunities or contentious litigation, Brian’s clients are well-represented. Strategically dovetailed with his business practice, Brian has assisted hundreds of individuals from young entrepreneurs to the affluent in business succession planning, estate and trust planning, guardianships and conservatorships.
Awards & Recognition
- Great Plains Super Lawyers (2012-2016)
- Accredited Estate Planner AEP® from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils
- Recognized by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys as a “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney in South Dakota”
- Guide family businesses in estate planning and business succession planning in order to assist in family business entity’s transfer of ownership. Consult clients in various estate planning, tax and business succession methods to ensure continuation of family business.
- Formation of hundreds of estate plans from young individuals/couples to the affluent. Estate plans created ranged from the introductory, such as wills, trusts and durable powers of attorney, to more complex planning, including irrevocable trusts (ILITS and otherwise), directed trusts, charitable trusts, asset protection Trusts, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and dynasty trusts.
- Formation of corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other like entities. Created shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements, professional service agreements, employee stock purchase option plans, and other documents. Successful completion of mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, 1031 like-kind exchanges and outright sales and purchases.
- Represented co-guardians and co-conservators in a contested guardianship and conservatorship against remote, unknown heirs who wanted to remove the co-guardians and co-conservators in order to gain access to a $30 million estate. The court ruled in favor of the clients on all counts.
- Represented individuals in trust/will contests, both in prosecution and defense.
- Represented a telecommunications company in securing legislative approval in several states for operation of telecommunications relay system. Engaged in lobbying in several states and assisted in the creation of laws which would authorize the actions. Efforts generated client tens of millions of dollars in revenue and provided hundreds of thousands of hearing impaired individuals access to telephonic communication.
- Won a four-day arbitration involving unpaid electrical subcontracts and change orders in the construction of a $15 million soybean oilseed processing plant.
- Commenced litigation due to breach of subcontract through the filing of a mechanic’s lien on a $10+ million construction project.
- Represented family business majority owner involved in nine separate actions against a disgruntled terminated family member. All actions were won, dismissed in client’s favor or settled for nuisance value.
- Represented businesses in intra-company disputes involving terminations, shareholder oppression, shareholder, officer and director disputes, employment issues, governmental regulations, EEOC discrimination complaints/lawsuits, and the like.
- Extensive criminal practice in federal courts.
Media & Presentations
Legal Casenote published, Vol. 33, Issue 1, South Dakota Law Review
Lead Article published, Vol. 36, Issue 3, South Dakota Law Review
Lead Article published, Vol. 44, Issue 2, South Dakota Law Review
"Ethics, Tips & Tricks When Working with Pro Se Litigants"
South Dakota State Bar, Young Lawyer's Section
"Sweat Equity: How to treat those working in the business versus those not working in the business"
Prairie Family Business Association - North Dakota Forum; Moorhead, Minnesota
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