Shareholder & Partnership Disputes

Partnership

A partnership allows to or more people or entities to operate a business together. Partners share profits, responsibilities and risks. Although there are multiple benefits to partners, there is also great potential for disputes to arise – and that’s why it’s so important that you have a partnership agreement in place.

Amongst other things, a partnership agreement should set out:

  • The name, address and purpose of the business
  • The personal contact details of all partners
  • The duties and responsibilities of each partner
  • The decision-making processes
  • The amount of capital contributed by each partner
  • Bank account details of each partner
  • The names of all appropriate business consultants
  • Details about how profits and losses will be shared
  • Details of partner salaries
  • What happens if a partner dies, retires or goes bankrupt
  • What happens when a partner wants to change or terminate their place in the business
  • Dispute resolution processes
  • Procedures for adding new partners
  • How to dissolve the partnership if necessary

If you don’t yet have a partnership agreement, we can work with you to ensure that you include all the important details in terms of your business’s needs and long-term goals.

Shareholder

A shareholder is someone who owns shares in a company. This means that they benefit from the company’s wins and suffer from the company’s losses – they share liability if the company owes money or goes bankrupt.

We strongly suggest that all businesses have a shareholder agreement in place. This agreement sets out ground rules regarding issues that can affect shareholders, and will reduce the likelihood of shareholder disputes within your business. A shareholder agreement should (at least) address:

  • The share split and types of shares
  • The rights of all shareholders in relation to the type and percentage of shares they own
  • The division of dividends
  • The voting rights of shareholders
  • Actions that require the input/consent of shareholders
  • What happens when voting is deadlocked
  • Whether shareholders can also be employees
  • How new shares are allocated
  • The valuation of shares
  • The process when a shareholder wishes to sell their shares
  • The process of transferring shares
  • How liable the shareholders are if the company enters debt
  • The mediation process to resolve disputes
  • Confidentiality guidelines that shareholders should abide by

Great legal advice is crucial for a foolproof shareholder agreement. We can help your company to create an effective shareholder agreement that addresses all potential eventualities and clearly defines the role of your shareholders.

Dispute Resolution

We have the skills required to resolve shareholder and partnership disputes effectively.

Disputes between shareholders and partnerships often arise from:

  • Discrepancies between salaries and profit dividends
  • Withholding of dividends
  • Separate/contrasting business interests
  • The company’s strategy and management
  • Fraud
  • Breaches of shareholder agreements
  • Exclusion from meetings, decision making and management
  • Issues that are actually peripheral to the business, such as personal issues between key personnel

Whatever the dispute, we have the knowledge necessary to find the best solution. Our team of experienced litigation lawyers and dispute resolution lawyers can help to resolve your dispute efficiently, creatively and cost-effectively.

Contact us for more information.