A dispute between shareholders and a company or its directors can be both damaging and disruptive. At Blaser Mills Law we will work with you to resolve disputes quickly and with minimum interference with your day to day business activities.

Sound legal advice to resolve shareholder troubles

Tensions between shareholders and directors of a company are fairly common and are often manageable with good communication and explanations. However, when disputes do become contentious, we can help you navigate your way out of them.

Our commercial dispute team has wide experience of all types of shareholder and company disputes, and we know how important it is to find a solution that aligns with your business goals. Using our commercial focus and in-depth knowledge of the legal system, we can help you make sense of the options open to you and advise you on the best course of action.

We will make sure you understand the situation fully and that you are kept informed of developments throughout. We ensure we are always available to speak to you, to discuss progress and answer any questions you may have.

Causes of shareholder disputes

A dispute can arise from anything, from a minor misunderstanding over a poorly drafted shareholders agreement to an entrenched battle over a major decision. The law governing shareholder powers can be complex, and it is important not to act unlawfully and to seek legal advice if you are in any doubt as to your rights.

If a dispute does arise between you and your shareholders, we would always advise that you address it without delay. Often, this goes a long way towards reducing the impact and longevity of a dispute. 

When a shareholder believes that a company’s affairs are being carried out in a way that is unfairly prejudicial to the interests of a minority shareholder, they can make an application to the court for relief.

Behaviour that may be found to be unfairly prejudicial includes failing to pay dividends, majority shareholders paying themselves too highly, directors buying or selling assets at an incorrect price, breach of the company’s Articles of Association, poor management of the company, breach of company law or directors’ duties or unfairly giving business to majority shareholders.

Options for resolving shareholder disputes

Our commercial dispute team will work with you to find the best solution to your dispute. Initially, we recommend communicating with the disgruntled shareholders and inviting them to negotiate.

Often, it is in everyone’s best interests, as well as the business’s, to find an amicable solution. If shareholders know that you are really listening to them and that you are willing to address their concerns, it can go a long way to taking the animosity out of the situation.

Negotiating does not necessarily mean giving up your legal rights or giving in to shareholder requests. We will find the strengths within your case and use those to help you persuade your shareholders to reach an agreement. 

If you wish to buy out a shareholder, we will work with you to establish a fair and justifiable valuation and extend the offer on your behalf. We can also suggest other solutions for you to consider and we’ll help you establish what is most important to you and what outcome would be most beneficial to the future of your business. 

If a negotiated settlement cannot be reached, we will represent you in court. At the start of any proceedings, we will give you an honest and open appraisal of the strength of your case and the likelihood of a successful outcome. Our litigators have excellent track records and you can be assured that they will fight hard on your behalf.

Contact us

We have lots of experience in helping businesses resolve disputes through negotiation and in court, and we’ll be by your side every step of the way. If you are experiencing difficulties with your shareholders and you would like to discuss your options with an expert commercial dispute lawyer, call Alka Kharbanda on +44 (0) 1494 478 611 or, email at alk@blasermills.co.uk.

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