Making use of an independent and highly experienced neutral to guide the parties in dispute toward a mutually beneficial solution is invaluable.

The Process

  • Investigation
  • Interviews
  • Joint and individual meetings
  • Problem solving
  • Guidance and suggestions
  • Resolution of differences
  • Conflict Management Planning

The Benefits

  • Cost effective
  • Efficient
  • Confidential
  • Goal oriented
  • Works toward common benefit
  • Greater Cooperation
  • Better Communication
  • Understanding
  • Solutions that work
  • Rebuilt relationships

Help Your Family Business Survive to the Second and Subsequent Generations

Owning a family business is extremely hard work, often fueled by the thought of someday handing over the reins of the company to a son or daughter. This is often more of a dream than a realty. As Eileen Glanton of the Associated Press wrote on July 6, 1999:

"But from Fortune 500 companies to corner delis, many business owners find their dreams deflated by poor planning or family squabbles. While two thirds of family business owners say they hope to pass on their enterprise to a relative, statistics show that 77 percent of all such firms do not survive to a second generation."

Family businesses challenges include crippling taxes and sibling rivalry as well as a lack of appreciation for the family business by relatives. Often the emotional issues surrounding succession are more difficult to deal with than estate taxes. Entrepreneurs who start businesses find it very difficult to choose a successor and to successfully turn over authority to such a person.

We believe that passing a business on to a next generation can be extremely satisfying and take a business to a whole new level. It is rewarding for both the next generation and the entrepreneur who gets to watch his business grow and thrive in family hands.

Conflict Solutions, INC. will bring a unique team to your business to help identify and deal with family issues as well as develop a thoughtful and workable succession plan.

Our family business work is done by Pat Coughlan (father) and Devon Coughlan (son) who are both "recovering lawyers." Devon and Pat work together in two businesses in bringing a multi-generational approach to solving the conflicts that inevitably arise in managing and developing succession plans for family businesses.

Our methodology involves visiting the company and family members and spending time interviewing, observing, and talking to family members and employees. Our work is confidential, and our style is non disruptive. Once we have gained sufficient background information, we work with family members and business owners to help them develop a plan that deals with conflict, minimizes disruption, and makes good business sense.


Our fees are based upon time, expenses, and the size of the company.

- Hourly fees with a minimum number of scheduled hours may be are offered in Maine and portions of Florida. Otherwise, we offer a daily rate, inclusive of all travel and related expenses, with one exception: If it becomes necessary to rent conference space, the cost of doing so will be distributed evenly among the parties.

- Rates will vary depending on the number of parties involved in a dispute and on the individual mediatorís fee schedule.

- All disputes involving four or more parties will be co-mediated.

- Please contact us for a quote and to review our agreements for services.

"Dear Pat, Thank you for your assistance in bringing this matter to a resolution." R.C.

Conflict Solutions - Portland, Maine
75 Pearl Street, Suite #430
Portland, ME 04101
Tel: 207-655-6677
Toll Free: 800-762-5582
Conflict Solutions - Naples, Florida
1540 Star Pointe Lane, Naples, Florida 34112,
Tel/Fax: 239 - 417 - 5969
Toll Free: 800-762-5582
Conflict Solutions - West Palm Beach, Florida
301 Clematis Street, Suite 3000,
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Tel: Devon G. Coughlan, Esq. direct 561-308-9494
Toll Free: 800-762-5582
Copyright © 2008 Conflict Solutions Inc. All rights reserved. Site by Cove Creek Productions