Partnership and shareholder disputes

Expert Commercial Law have a panel of partnership and shareholder dispute solicitors on hand to assist directors, shareholders and partners with dispute resolution by providing transparent legal advice and assistance in the most cost effective manner.
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Partnership and shareholder disputes

Partnership and shareholder disputes can arise in a variety of contexts, from disagreements over business strategy to allegations of misconduct. These disputes can have a significant impact on the stability and success of a company, and they can be complex to navigate. UK law firms that specialize in partnership and shareholder disputes can provide assistance to companies and individuals involved in these conflicts, helping them to understand their rights and options, and to reach a resolution that is in their best interests.

Our panel of solicitors can help with

Our panel of solicitors can assist business owners in resolving disputes in relation to their business. Some examples of partnership and shareholder disputes we can assist with include:

Business strategy disagreements

Oppression of minority shareholders

Allegations of misconduct of a partner

Disputes over terms of partnerships

Deadlocks in management of a company

Unfair prejudice claims under the Companies Act

Breach of fiduciary duties of a partner

Derivative actions

Settling shareholder disputes

Partnership and shareholder disputes in the UK can be settled in a variety of ways, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Some common methods of resolving these disputes include:

Negotiation and Mediation: The parties may attempt to reach a resolution through informal negotiations or through mediation, which is a process where an impartial third party (mediator) helps the parties to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

Arbitration: The parties may choose to submit their dispute to arbitration, which is a form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties agree to have their dispute resolved by an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators.

Litigation: If the parties are unable to reach a resolution through negotiation or mediation, they may choose to litigate the dispute in court proceedings. In the UK, the High Court has the jurisdiction to hear disputes involving companies and partnership.

Expert Determination: The parties may agree to have the dispute determined by an expert, such as an accountant or a valuer, rather than by a court or an arbitrator.

Compulsory purchase of shares: In the case of unfair prejudice claim by a shareholder, the court may order the purchase of the shares of the complaining shareholder by the company or by the other shareholders.

Ultimately, the appropriate method of resolving a partnership or shareholder dispute will depend on the specific facts of the case and the preferences of the parties involved. Some disputes may be resolved quickly and informally, while others may require more formal and lengthy proceedings.

Why Choose us?

We only connect you with the best solicitors

All of the solicitors on our panel have the experience and expertise required to take on your case. Each solicitor is vetted before being allowed onto our panel and we only select the best in the business. All of our solicitor firms are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Cost effective options

Commercial solicitors in the UK typically charge by the hour, with rates ranging from around £150 to £350 per hour. Some panel firms may also offer fixed fee arrangements for specific services. The total cost will depend on the complexity of the work and the amount of time required.

Our solicitors also help with commercial claims, such as breach of contract and CCJ removal.


Partnership and shareholder disputes FAQs

What is a business strategy disagreement?

Partners or shareholders may have different ideas about how the company should be run, such as disputes regarding funding options or staff, leading to disagreements and tension within the company.

What are allegations of misconduct?

One partner or shareholder may accuse another of misconduct, such as embezzlement or fraud, leading to a dispute.

What are deadlocks in management?

Shareholders or partners may be unable to reach a consensus on important decisions, leading to a deadlock in the management of the company.

What is a breach of fiduciary duty?

Shareholders or partners may accuse one another of breach of fiduciary duty, such as misusing company resources or failing to act in the best interests of the company.

What is oppression of minority shareholders?

Disputes between minority and majority shareholders are common. Majority shareholders may be accused of oppressing minority shareholders by making decisions that are not in the best interests of the company or by denying them access to important information.

Dispute over terms of partnership or shareholders agreement

There can be a dispute over the interpretation or applicability of certain clauses in the partnership or shareholder agreement.

What is an unfair prejudice claim?

An unfair prejudice claim is a legal remedy available under the Companies Act 2006 in the United Kingdom for shareholders of a company who have been treated unfairly by the company or by other shareholders. Such claim can be made by a shareholder if they believe that the affairs of the company are being conducted in a manner that is unfairly prejudicial to the interests of its shareholders generally or to the interests of that particular shareholder.

What is a derivative action?

A derivative action is a legal action that is brought by a shareholder of a company on behalf of the company, rather than in the shareholder’s own personal capacity. It is used to pursue a claim against third parties, typically company directors, for breach of their duties to the company, or against other shareholders for unfair prejudice.

How can I protect my interests in a partnership or shareholder dispute?

Protecting your interests in a partnership or shareholder dispute involves several key steps:

  • Seek Legal Advice Early: Consult with a solicitor specialising in commercial law as soon as you anticipate a dispute. They can provide guidance on your rights and the best course of action.
  • Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all relevant communications, meetings, and decisions related to the dispute. Documentation can be crucial in legal proceedings.
  • Understand Your Legal Position: Be clear about your rights and obligations under any partnership agreement, shareholders’ agreement, or the company’s articles of association.
  • Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): Explore options like mediation or arbitration, which might resolve the dispute more amicably and cost-effectively than litigation.
  • Plan for the Long Term: Consider the potential impact of the dispute on the business and your relationship with other partners or shareholders. Sometimes, a negotiated settlement may be more beneficial than a protracted legal battle.
What are the risks of going to court for a partnership or shareholder dispute?

Cost: Litigation can be expensive, with legal fees accumulating over time. Even if you win, the cost may significantly impact your financial situation or the business.

Time: Court proceedings can take a long time, during which the dispute may continue to affect the business’s operations and profitability negatively.

Uncertainty: The outcome of litigation is never guaranteed, and the court’s decision may not fully satisfy either party’s expectations or needs.

Public Exposure: Court proceedings are generally public, which means details of the dispute and potentially sensitive business information could become public knowledge.

Relationships: Litigation can irreparably damage relationships between business partners or shareholders, affecting the business’s future collaboration and success.

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Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm. 


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