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Legal advice around shareholder and partnership disputes

We know disputes between company shareholders and partners can really grind a company to a halt, which is why our solicitors can work for a quick resolution to any clash.

At the end of 2015, there were over 55,000 limited liability partnerships registered in the UK, and it’s unlikely all of these will have run without some kind of dispute at one point or another.

Specialist commercial litigation solicitors can help you to navigate the complex rules and regulations that govern the conduct of companies, and we can help you to bring your dispute to a resolution before it escalates too far.

Contact us to discuss your shareholder or partnership dispute and take advantage of the no-obligation discussion we offer with our advisors.

What are shareholder and partnership disputes?

Disputes between company shareholders and partners can easily arise when conflicts of interest occur, or one party feels that agreements have been breached.

Disagreements over the direction of the business are often at the heart of disputes, and poor personal relationships between shareholders and directors are not uncommon in such cases.

In companies of all sizes, it is possible for breaches of shareholder agreements to occur, and First4lawyers can assist individuals and companies when duties have not been upheld.

The Companies Act 2006 contains legislation that governs the rules that apply to businesses and their owners, and claims can often be brought under the act to settle disputes.

How are shareholder and partnership disputes resolved?

The first option for the resolution of disputes between directors, partners or shareholders is always negotiation. Where it is possible to negotiate a resolution by meeting directly with those involved, this can provide a quicker and more cost-effective route than going through the courts.

Negotiated solutions should provide practical actions that will meet the interests of all parties involved. If a partner or shareholder is aggrieved, it might be necessary for a buyout of their shares at a fair price by either the company or by other shareholders.

If your company is facing the threat of a winding-up order from a shareholder, it could be wise to make a reasonable offer to buy that shareholder out. This may prevent the court from ruling that you have acted unfairly, as you will have offered the shareholder an option to settle the matter. However, it is important that you discuss any such buyout offer with an experienced commercial dispute solicitor before taking any action.

If direct negotiation is not possible or feasible, then a mediator can be appointed to aid the process and act as a catalyst for a quick, low-cost resolution to the matter. Should negotiation and mediation fail to bring the matter to a close, court action may be required.

There’s a dispute involving shareholders and partnerships that needs to be resolved – what should I do?

The earlier you seek legal advice to bring a shareholder or partnership dispute to a close, the better. Commercial litigation specialists will be best placed to advise you on a course of action to close the matter quickly if you contact them before the dispute has had time to escalate and likely become even trickier.

Solicitors from First4lawyers have experience of handling disputes across a broad range of sectors and niches, and we can help you to gain a solid grasp of the implications of business law on your specific circumstances. We can also advise you on the best way to protect your business against disputes in the future, by helping put watertight shareholder and partner agreements in place.

To speak to our commercial litigation experts about the details of your shareholder or partnership dispute, get in touch.

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