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February 2021

Gordon & Rees Chicago Team Obtains Victory for International E-Commerce Agency

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani Chicago team of Partner Avanti Bakane and Senior Counsel Chirag H. Patel obtained a complete victory in a complex commercial arbitration defending an international e-commerce agency against claims by an international consumer goods and multi-level marketing company seeking over $10 million in damages.

The former client, an international consumer goods and multi-level marketing company (“Customer”), hired an international commerce experience and digital commerce agency (“Agency”) to provide strategic direction and software implementation services of a third-party e-commerce solution. The Customer was contemporaneously overhauling and implementing an integrated enterprise resource (“ERP”) solution. This large-scale program was being managed by the Customer and its outside consultant.

The Customer’s constant changes in direction and scope, combined with its own program management deficiencies, led to increasing costs and program delays. The parties eventually agreed to part ways as their working relationship became frustrated. However, only months later, the Customer initiated an arbitration claiming that the Agency: (a) fraudulently induced the Customer into entering the contract, (b) committed fraud in its representations about the progress of the commerce solution implementation, and (c) breached the parties’ contract. The Customer claimed over $10 million in damages which included claims for restitution of paid invoices, projected lost profits from delays in launching the new e-commerce website, and other incidental and consequential damages. The Agency countersued for its unpaid invoices.

After two years of litigation with extensive e-discovery, the parties’ participated in a week-long arbitration. After considering the live testimony, deposition transcripts, and lengthy post-hearing briefs, the Arbitrator agreed entirely with the Agency’s position. The Arbitrator denied all of Customer’s claims and granted the Agency’s claim for unpaid fees.  

Christina Spiezia, Ben Kinney, Richard Daniels, and Abra Geisler substantively participated at various points during discovery and at the final hearing.

Avanti D. Bakane
Chirag H. Patel



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