Goldberg Segalla LLP

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Corporate and Business Transactions

When you choose Goldberg Segalla for your corporate or transactional needs, you’re selecting a legal partner committed not only to your organization’s current well-being and immediate future, but also to its long-term profitability and sustainability.

Our Corporate and Business Transactions Practice Group provides companies and organizations of all sizes with practical legal advice and transactional guidance to help them grow and excel. Leading this team is a former inside counsel who spent 20 years in that role for a multibillion-dollar global company. Many of our team members have decades of experience advising on a broad spectrum of business matters and disputes, both in-house and as outside counsel. And, as a firm that grew from a team of seven lawyers into one of the nation’s 200 largest in only 15 years, we know what it takes for businesses to succeed and to grow strategically.

That means we handle each matter — whether closing an intricate transaction or providing day-to-day counseling — with an extraordinary appreciation for your constant corporate stressors; the demand to manage legal costs economically; and the very real impact of legal matters and choices on your organization, your daily operations, and your bottom line. We think about your business needs before our billable hours. Eschewing these Big Law, bad business practices has been good business for us — and it can be good business for you, too. Our transactional attorneys are equipped to handle your every legal need, including:

Corporate Law and Contracts
  • Business entity selection, formation, and financing
  • Preparation of governing documents (by-laws; meeting minutes; and shareholder, partnership, membership interest, buy-sell, and stock option agreements)
  • Preparation of standardized business form documents, including purchase orders, terms and conditions, acknowledgement and order processing forms, indemnification terms, distribution agreements, and UCC security agreements
  • Corporate record keeping and document retention
  • Operational issue advice
  • Management structure and growth, including strategic partnering
  • Directorial and shareholder fiduciary duties
  • Minority owner rights and remedies
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Advising on corporate duties and obligations pursuant to state business corporation statutes
  • Software and merchandising license agreements
  • Executive employment agreements and executive compensation
  • Succession planning
  • Corporate dissolution
Growth, Finance, and Asset Protection
  • Corporate and asset finance
  • Mergers, acquisitions, divestures, and reorganizations, including assistance with letters of intent, due diligence, and stock and asset sales and purchases
  • Franchise agreements
  • Strategic alliance agreements
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Venture capital investments
  • Private equity
  • Not-for-profit, tax-exempt formations and filing
  • Corporate contracts, such as non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements
Banking and Financial Services
For clients including banks, public and private corporations, corporate issuers, investors and investment companies, private equity sponsors, asset-based lenders, asset managers, credit unions, captive insurance companies, and insurance and reinsurance companies, our attorneys regularly handle high-value matters involving:

  • Bridge financing commitments
  • Acquisition financings
  • Mezzanine financings
  • Registered offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities (both high-yield and investment grade)
  • Debt exchange offers
  • Debt and equity tender offers
  • Secured loan transactions
  • Consent solicitations
Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual property management, protection, and optimization, including trademark and copyright registration and guidance on Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings and the like
  • IP litigation
  • Trade secret identification and protection, including new developments under the Defend Trade Secrets Act
  • Trade secret misappropriation litigation
  • Patent, trademark, and copyright licenses
  • Guidance on “work-for-hire” doctrine and issues concerning employee inventions
Commercial Real Estate and Development
  • Preparation of letters of intent
  • Due diligence process
  • Environmental concerns, including Phase I and Phase II environmental audits
  • Commercial loan agreements (term, demand, and revolving) and ancillary documentation including promissory notes; opinions of counsel; and inter-creditor, subordination, errors and omissions, and security and indemnity agreements
  • Land use and zoning issues, including New York Article 78 actions
  • IRS Code §1031 “like-kind” exchanges
  • Commercial leases (gross leases; single, double, and triple net leases; and modified gross leases)
  • Construction agreements focusing on AIA contracts, owner-architect, contractor and sub-contractor, and development agreements
Stronger as a Team
The attorneys across all of Goldberg Segalla’s practice and industry groups are renowned in many areas of business and law, recognized as national and international thought leaders, and always working to stay at the forefront of emerging trends and issues in technology, law, and business practices. Because of our firm’s collaborative culture, our attorneys are always each other’s most valuable resources. By choosing Goldberg Segalla, you can put all those resources to work for your business.

We bring the exceptionally valuable risk-avoidance counsel that can come only from a team that also has extensive litigation, arbitration, and trial experience:

  • Goldberg Segalla’s Corporate Services and Commercial Litigation Practice Group has been recognized for three straight years among the top commercial litigation teams in the Upstate New York edition of the prestigious Chambers USA, which noted our firm acts for “a variety of prominent clients throughout the USA.”
  • Our internationally recognized Global Insurance Services team frequently helps corporate clients manage risk through practical and thorough insurance coverage analysis.
  • The firm’s experienced construction attorneys bring a comprehensive understanding of business issues, including the project financing phase, to help business clients develop innovative solutions to expedite revenue procurement and generate cash flow.
  • Members of our product liability team also prove invaluable to our corporate clients, as they routinely prepare owners’ manuals, warning labels, instructions, packaging, websites, and warranties to reduce the risk of claims that may be brought against a corporate client.
  • Goldberg Segalla’s cyber risk team offers data security advice and training, data privacy regulatory guidance, and policy and contract guidance to help prevent data breaches and minimize potential liability in the event of an incident.
  • Our employment and labor attorneys draft and negotiate employment, severance/separation, non-competition, non-solicitation, confidentiality, and other agreements and will often work hand-in-hand with the transactional team during the process of a corporate merger, acquisition, divestiture, or reorganization.

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4.7/5.0 (1253 reviews)
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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for John M. Allen by a Associate on 05/04/16 in General Liability

    John is an excellent civil defense attorney. Most importantly, he seeks resolutions that are fair to the parties. This is a trait not often found in litigation matters. Given that John and I were on opposite sides of the fence in a recent case, my... Read more

    Read more

    John is an excellent civil defense attorney. Most importantly, he seeks resolutions that are fair to the parties. This is a trait not often found in litigation matters. Given that John and I were on opposite sides of the fence in a recent case, my comments stem from personal knowledge of this gentleman. Read less

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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for Michael Rubin by a Partner on 05/28/15 in Civil Litigation

    Mike is an excellent attorney, a strong client advocate and worthy adversary.

    Mike is an excellent attorney, a strong client advocate and worthy adversary. Read less

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Both within our own firm and across the wider business and legal communities, Goldberg Segalla’s commitment to diversity is strong, sincere, and a critical component of our firm’s mission and culture. Our philosophy has always been that we hire people who are excellent at what they do, and even better human beings. Period. We feel we would be doing a disservice to our firm and to our clients if we didn’t include contributions from every available resource.

We are extremely proud that our commitment has received regional and national recognition for the innovative programs we have developed and the results we have been able to achieve. The following is a sampling of the firm-wide or individual honors we have received for implementing initiatives that make a difference:

  • George B. Vashon Innovator Award, Minority Corporate Counsel Association
  • MCCA Firm Affiliate Network
  • Vault/MCCA Commitment to Diversity
  • Community Service Award, Defense Research Institute
  • Good Works Award, American Bar Association Section of Litigation
  • Outstanding Committee Chair, ABA Section of Litigation
  • Diversity Trailblazer Award, New York State Bar Association
  • Legal Service Award, Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • Lawyer of the Year, Bar Association of Erie County
  • Legal Community Leader Award, National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York
  • Diversity Excellence Award, Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association
  • Value Award for Diversity, Leadership Buffalo
  • Western New York Game Changers, Buffalo Spree magazine

What we are most proud of, though, is that our efforts have shown significant results and continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of many.

Leadership and Action

To put our philosophy and commitment into practice, we have a Diversity Task Force, which includes our managing partner, in place to conceptualize and implement diversity-focused programs as well as give diversity a voice in our decision-making at the highest level. The individuals on this task force share the firm’s strong commitment to increasing diversity, and they use their unique experiences and backgrounds to support and advance that goal. The team meets regularly to create programs, schedule events, establish diversity initiatives both inside and outside of the firm, set long-term goals, and develop the strategy to recruit and retain people from diverse backgrounds.

The chair of our Diversity Task Force, Joseph M. Hanna, has spearheaded numerous diversity initiatives in various organizations and outreach programs, serves on several diversity-related committees, and is a frequent author and speaker on diversity. Among other positions, he is co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyer Leadership Program, former chair of the association’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee and its Special Committee on Human Rights, and former editor-in-chief of the ABA’s Minority Trial Lawyer; a 2014 fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD); a past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY) and the MBAWNY Foundation; and the Diversity Liaison for several committees at the 22,000-member DRI.

For more than a decade, Goldberg Segalla has proudly supported the ABA’s Judicial Internship Opportunity Program, which provides racial and ethnic minority law students, along with members of other groups underrepresented in the legal profession, opportunities to serve as an intern with a judge during the summer after their first or second year of law school. Joe Hanna — an alumni of the program himself — acts as a mentor and leader in the program, through which he has conducted more than 100 interviews for students across the country.

In 2017, Goldberg Segalla participated in the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, the New York City Bar Association’s flagship pipeline program for high school students. As a participating legal employer, we hosted high-achieving inner-city students for the summer and collaborate with the NYC Bar to provide them with additional programming before, during, and after the summer designed to help them prepare for a legal career.

Each summer, Goldberg Segalla proudly welcomes interns through a formal Diversity Clerkship Program that was conceived by Joe while he served as president of the MBAWNY. The program was developed in collaboration with the MBAWNY and the SUNY Buffalo Law School to provide opportunities for minority UB Law students to gain firsthand experience in the legal system. Since it was launched in 2011, the program has placed more than 100 students in clerkships in area courts as well as in several area law firms, with more judges and law firms asking to participate every day. It provides participants with an in-depth look at the legal process and the interaction between the bench and the bar that they would not otherwise get. At our firm, a dedicated team of partners monitors the work of these law clerks and ensures they obtain valuable experience to help develop important legal research, writing, case management, and client service skills critical to their long-term success. Our program earned the firm the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2012 George B. Vashon Innovator Award.

We also have sponsored Success in the City, an annual diversity networking and mentoring event developed by Joe that brought together students, legal and business professionals, educators, nonprofits, and political leaders to make lasting partnerships. Many employment, business, and mentoring relationships resulted from this event. Past events have drawn more than 500 political and business leaders, legal professionals, and students. Success in the City has influenced the development of similar programs in Baltimore, Cleveland, Birmingham, Dallas, and elsewhere.

Our firm is committed to spreading the message throughout the broad legal and business communities that embracing diversity contributes to greater overall success. We conduct training sessions for in-house counsel at Fortune 500 corporations on increasing and promoting diversity. Our attorneys have authored articles and delivered presentations on diversity for various legal organizations, including DRI and the ABA, and our efforts and accomplishments in this area have been profiled in publications such as Law360, the New York State Bar Association’s State Bar News, Business First of Buffalo, the Buffalo Law Journal, and others.

In one example of our work to provide inspiration and raise awareness of diversity and women’s issues in the legal community, Caroline Berdzik, chair of our Employer and Labor Practice Group, spoke to Law360 for the publication’s “Female Powerbrokers” series. In the interview, Caroline discussed her career, the challenges of being a woman at a senior level at a law firm, the work-family life balance, and the importance of taking risks. She also offered guidance to female attorneys on moving their careers forward and advice to law firms on both increasing the number of women partners and retaining top female talent. Her longtime advocacy for women (at her previous firm, she served on the Women’s Business Development Committee and was a member of what became the national Women’s Presidents Organization) helped earn her a spot on the 2015 NJBIZ list of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business.

Joe Hanna also was featured by Law360 in its “Minority Powerbrokers” series, in which he shared his perspective on breaking the glass ceiling in the legal industry, the challenges of being a lawyer of color at a senior level, how law firms can increase diversity in their partner ranks, and Goldberg Segalla’s core commitment to diversity.


Goldberg Segalla is proud to be a member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Firm Affiliate Network, which was created by the MCCA to assist and acknowledge law firms that are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

We are also a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization of leaders in law firms and corporate legal departments dedicated to creating a truly diverse legal profession. As noted earlier, Joe Hanna was a fellow of the LCLD in 2014. In this position, he played a critical role in organizing the first-ever New York City LCLD Fellows Roundtable event, and he was instrumental in establishing a mentorship program in Hartford for local diverse first-year law students.

We support the diversity efforts of numerous organizations, including:

  • American Bar Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of New York
  • Columbian Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Korean American Association of Greater New York
  • League of First Nations
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • National Bar Association
  • Native American Rights Fund
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Seneca Free Trade Association
  • SUNY Buffalo Law School
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York

Our outreach efforts led to the creation of a comprehensive database of more than 500 minority law organizations throughout the United States. Contact between these organizations takes place in anticipation of bringing CLE and legal programs together. This group of minority bar associations includes both local and national organizations, such as:

  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • National Association of Muslim Lawyers
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
  • South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia
  • Vietnamese American Bar Association of North Carolina

A Talented and Diverse Team

Diversity is further evident within our firm through the many languages and dialects spoken by members of our team, including Albanian, Arabic, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin, Marathi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, and Urdu.

Goldberg Segalla’s culture is one that values team-spiritedness, collegiality, and interpersonal harmony within our working community. We are a firm that believes in diversity in the workplace, and we are proud to offer a professional and positive work environment for each and every member of our team.

On these values, and on our commitment to diversity, we will never waver. We are proud of what we have accomplished thus far, but we also realize that this is a long-term mission. We will continue to innovate and to improve diversity in law and business — both within Goldberg Segalla and across the communities in which we live and work.

Diversity Matters — Join the Conversation

If you have questions regarding any of the firm’s diversity initiatives or would like to discuss ideas regarding increasing diversity in the legal profession, please contact Joe Hanna (716.566.5447; [email protected]) or another member of our Diversity Task Force:

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