Jeffrey T. Makoff
Litigation & Mediation Partner - San Francisco/Walnut Creek
Northen California Super Lawyers , Business Litigation (2005, 2012-2018)
Best Lawyers in America 2018-2019
Jeff Makoff is a trial and appellate lawyer, and negotiator of complex business dispute settlements. He is admitted to practice in all California federal and state courts, in Washington, D.C. and Ohio. He arbitrates before AAA, JAMS and other panels and has been co-lead counsel in Delaware and Texas cases.
Mr. Makoff handles plaintiff and defense cases, and mediator, receiver and litigation trustee assignments. He is experienced in jury trials, court trials, arbitrations and federal and state appeals and writs. He has broad motion experience, including dismissals, summary judgments, anti-SLAPP motions (First Amendment) and trial motions. In corporate control matters, he advises clients on management, control, governance and employment issues in high technology, finance and other industries, and negotiates buyouts and management agreements for corporations/LLCs, partnerships, proprietorships, estates and their stakeholders. He handles many contested corporate and LLC dissolutions and intra-business disputes.
In family and trust/probate proceedings, Mr. Makoff advises on family dispute resolution, fiduciary obligations, Marvin (“palimony”) claims, business litigation, crisis management, business stabilization, complex asset management, division and disposition, compensation (including stock options/units and carried interests), asset-secured settlements, shareholder agreements, strategic legal and succession planning, internal and external communications and risk management. Mr. Makoff frequently assists family law professionals with business fraud investigations, fiduciary duties, business valuations, characterization of business interests, community/separate property apportionment, tort and injury claims that arise from intimate relationships, and with the discovery and analysis of electronically stored business information (ESI).
Mr. Makoff is the author of a chapter in CEB’s 2016 Practice Guide on “Understanding Fiduciary Duties in Business Entities” on the subject of “Fiduciary Duties in Family Businesses and Transactions.” He is the current Co-Chair of the Committee on Business Litigation of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar and a Trustee of the UC Hastings Law School Foundation. Mr. Makoff was trained at the leading international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom under nationally-renowned trial lawyers Frank Rothman, Bill Masterson, Michael Diamond and James Lyons.
Mr. Makoff received his J.D. in 1985 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Mr. Makoff received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1981, cum laude, from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 2013, Mr. Makoff completed the week-long “Mediating Disputes” program at the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.