A fiduciary duty is the duty of one party to act in the best interest of another party. In business, those fiduciary relationships are a key piece of the success of the company. When the fiduciary fails to act in good faith toward the principal, there is a breach of fiduciary duty. The consequences of a breach of fiduciary duty can be devastating, and the party that was harmed may be able to seek compensation for their damages. Proving a breach can be complicated, but you can learn more about how to prove breach of fiduciary duty below.

breach of fiduciary duty

Proving Breach of Fiduciary Duty

There are four main elements necessary to prove a breach of fiduciary duty. Although it may be evident to you that there was a breach of fiduciary duty that violated Wisconsin law, proving it is another matter. A successful case must include evidence for all four elements of breach of fiduciary duty. 


For there to be a breach of fiduciary duty, there must first be an established fiduciary relationship in place. In a fiduciary relationship, one party (the fiduciary) is required to act in good faith and in the best interest of the other party (a beneficiary or principal). An example of fiduciary duty in a business relationship can be a company director acting as the fiduciary for their shareholders. 


There are two common types of breach of fiduciary duty: those done intentionally and others done out of negligence. An intentional breach of fiduciary duty occurs when the fiduciary chooses to act in his or her own best interest or with malicious intent. Other breaches are done out of negligence. In other words, the fiduciary failed to do due diligence or acted without the level of care necessary in a fiduciary relationship. Wisconsin law only recognizes intentional breaches, or intentional tort. You may only sue for breach of fiduciary duty if the act was done with the knowledge of the fiduciary. Some examples of a breach of fiduciary duty include self-dealing or mismanaging funds.


A successful breach of fiduciary duty claim typically involves damages to one party in the fiduciary relationship. Damages are often monetary, including lost profits in the present and future. There are other types of damages as well, like damage to the reputation of the beneficiary or principal. 


To successfully prove breach of fiduciary duty, you must prove that the damages were caused by the breach. According to Wisconsin law, only the individual who breached fiduciary duty can be held accountable. There must be overwhelming evidence that the breach of fiduciary duty was done either to cause harm to the principal or for the personal gain of the fiduciary. 

Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer to Prove Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

Because documentation, evidence, and other proof is key to winning a breach of fiduciary duty case, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney who specializes in Wisconsin law surrounding business law and commercial litigation. At Atolles Law, S.C., our skilled team has worked with countless clients to prove that their fiduciary duty was breached. We stay on top of local and nationwide laws to help our clients find the proof that they need. Do you think that your fiduciary duty was breached? Contact Atolles Law, S.C. to go over your case with a member of our law team.