Tech Industry Break-Up Spotlights Divorce and Business Issues

From across the continent, and a different Orange County (the one in North Carolina), comes an interesting divorce story offering lessons as relevant to the California Coast as they are to the Outer Banks.

According to Local Tech Wire, Dennis Gillings, CEO of Quintiles, is struggling to bat down industry speculation that his Orange County divorce will have an adverse effect on the company. Quintiles is described by Local Tech Wire as “the world’s largest life sciences services firm.”

“This is a personal family matter, not for public comment,” Gillings is quoted as saying, adding that he does not think his divorce will “impact” either the business or the company’s management. Local Tech Wire, however, quotes an area publication, the Triangle Business Journal, as speculating that “fallout” from the case could “affect” the company.

As we have seen here in Southern California in the rather higher-profile divorce of the Frank and Jamie McCourt, business the ownership and management of a business can, indeed, become entangled in a divorce. How matters play out for Gillings – and for Quintiles’ shareholders – will ultimately be determined by a number of factors that may no longer be within his, or their, control. Unlike California, North Carolina is not a community property state. Whether and how that fact effects the final outcome of this case will turn on other issues: how the couple’s assets are structured and whether they signed any sort of post-nuptial agreement after, as Local Tech Wire reports, Gillings left his teaching post at the University of North Carolina to found Quintiles.

We are not in a position to know the answers to those questions. The lesson they hold, however, is of the importance of careful, detail-oriented legal representation in every aspect of family law. When moving toward an Orange County divorce it is important to seek skilled counsel at the earliest possible opportunity. Doing so is the best way to assure a smooth and equitable division of a couple’s assets. Delays in starting the process are apt to lead to further complications down the line.

Local Tech Wire: Dennis Gillings doesn’t believe divorce ‘will have impact’ on Quintiles