In The Mid 1990s Dhl Was The World S Largest Shipping Company 2661395

Should Larry Junior Go to Court or Settle?
CASE 14.3
In the mid-1990s, DHL was the world’s largest shipping company, with $3.7 billion in revenue and 60,000 employees. Larry Hillblom was the “H” in DHL and founder of the company. DHL started on a shoestring budget in 1969 with a business plan to deliver shipping documents by air courier to ports of call days before cargo ships arrived, so that vessels could be unloaded quickly upon arrival and be on their way. The company grew into an international air courier, making Hillblom a millionaire before he turned 30. While not as famous in the United States as Federal Express, overseas DHL is so ubiquitous that its name is synonymous with next-day-air shipping in the same man-ner that the word “Coke” is used to mean “soft drink.” To avoid U.S. income taxes, Hillblom moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Saipan, a tropical tax haven a thousand miles off the southeast coast of Japan. He became a Micronesian kingpin, launching dozens of businesses and financing land development projects in the Philippines, Hawaii, and Vietnam. He owned European castles and hotels, a Chinese jet, an airline called Continental Micronesia and, in addi-tion to his mansion in Saipan, maintained residences in Manila, Hawaii, and Half Moon Bay. His hobbies included high-end stereo equipment, boats, airplanes, fancy cars and, reportedly, illicit relationships with young Asian girls. On May 21, 1995, Hillblom and two business associates took off for Saipan in Hill-blom’s twin-engine seaplane from nearby Pagan Island for a short business trip. Bad weather turned the travelers back and, soon thereafter, dispatchers lost track of the plane. The next morning a search party located parts of the plane and the sodden bod-ies of Hillblom’s companions. Hillblom’s body was never found. Larry Hillblom never married and had no legitimate children. Unfortunately for the Hillblom estate, his will did not contain a clause disinheriting any illegitimate children. Under the prevailing laws, he could have written his children out of the will, but since