Fenton v. Pillar Wealth Management


In May 2013 Commins & Knudsen obtained an award in the amount of $668,468.03, plus attorneys’ fees and costs that brought the final Award to approximately $908,000.

In October 2009 Gabriel Fenton’s business, Coor Capital, a registered investment advisor, entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) with Pillar Wealth Management.  Mr. Fenton agreed to sell, and Pillar agreed to buy a list of clients.  The APA included a number of means of payment, including the delivery of a promissory note based on the amount of assets that transferred to Pillar by the end of January 2010, and quarterly “earnout” payments based on revenue Pillar received from the transferred assets, or based on the asset values themselves on certain dates in 2010.  But Pillar failed to deliver the promissory note and failed to make most of the earnout payments.

In March 2011 Mr. Fenton filed an action before the American Arbitration Association.  Pillar answered and counter-claimed, alleging that Mr. Fenton had overstated the values of the transferred assets.

“I first started working with David Commins in 2003, and he has represented me and a number of my clients in a variety of different matters over the past 10 years.  Recently, Commins & Knudsen represented me in a dispute arising out of the sale of client accounts invested in a fund of funds.  David and his partner, Kit Knudsen, turned what might have been perceived as a complicated commercial dispute into a straightforward breach of contract case that was easy for the arbitrator to understand. 

The level of commitment and dedication demonstrated by the firm during the week of arbitration was excellent and beyond what I expected. In addition to this David and Kit made what should he been a nerve racking experience enjoyable by balancing humor, with me, and restrained aggression to the opposing party. David and Kit worked the case perfectly. At one point during Kit’s cross I almost felt badly for the other side, as it was clear we would win by lunch on day two of four.

I was awarded everything I asked for, including attorneys’ fees.  Within 30 days, my opponents decided to pay the judgment in full rather than risk further challenges and more of Kit’s flogging in court.  I cannot imagine using any other law firm for California litigation.”

Gabriel Fenton