You know what they say, never go into business with family or friends (or romantic partners). It’s a recipe for disaster, and in this case, it spells trouble for the co-founders of TransPerfect.
Philip Shawe, co-founder of the $400 million TransPerfect Global Inc. — one of the largest privately held companies in New York city, and one of the largest translation companies in the world— filed court papers seeking an emergency order of protection from his former girlfriend and business partner, Elizabeth Elting, who he alleges attacked him in their Park Avenue office last week.
According to sources, papers were filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, which state that Shawe requires an order of protection against Elting after she shoved him into a door and kicked him repeatedly for confronting her about having withdrawn funds from corporate accounts without authorization. Shawe “was intentionally and repeatedly pushed, shoved, kicked, slammed and otherwise assaulted and battered by defendant,” the filing says. It goes on to state that the fighting escalated when they began to argue over whether their company would pay their individual taxes.
Shawe adds that Elting, “appears to be so unstable as of late that I do not know what she is physically capable of.”
But this certainly is not a one-sided deal. Elizabeth Elting issued her own lawsuit against Shawe just one month prior.
In her lawsuit against Shawe, Elting said she wanted him booted from their company’s Park Avenue offices because of his “increasingly erratic and dangerous behavior.”
That included deciding unilaterally to issue bonuses and raises to some company employees, and then threatening the head of payroll — leaving thousands of the company’s workers in danger of not getting a paycheck, the suit says. She also accused him of stealing her personal mail and opening it, blocking her access to the company’s Facebook page, sending email messages to staff in the middle of the night after hours of excessive drinking, and making sexual advances on female employees.
Shawe, 44, and Elting, 48, met when they both attended NYU’s Stern School of Business in the 1990’s. They were even engaged at one point, but the relationship soured. They continued to work together, however, growing the company to its current level.
Regarding Shawe’s request for an emergency order of protection from Elting, a civil court judge denied the order after both sides claimed they were the victims. “If either party is in fear of their safety the remedy is go to the police or criminal court,” Justice Debra James said on Tuesday.
For now, it seems like TransPerfect is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. I guess we will just have to wait and see how this war of the roses will affect the company as a whole.