Shareholder Disputes

Disputes between shareholders can quickly cost a company its profits and sometimes even its reputation. 

In order to remain competitive in today’s market, in-fighting between shareholders needs to be dealt with immediately, to prevent irreversible damage to the company’s bottom line and brand.

Our commercial solicitors have experience dealing with shareholder disputes within companies ranging from small SMEs to multi-national corporations.  By providing practical, commercially sound advice, we have successfully resolved hundreds of shareholder disputes allowing the businesses in question to break the deadlock and forge ahead with their objectives and goals for the future.

The Major Causes of Shareholder Disputes

The most crucial element in avoiding shareholder disputes is to have a clear, comprehensive shareholders agreement (this is especially important in the case of minority shareholders).  You can find out more about these here.

Common reasons for shareholder disputes include:

  • the shareholders or some of them consider that the directors are breaching their duties
  • some shareholders feel the dividend policies favour certain shareholders
  • claims by minority shareholders that they are “unfairly prejudiced” by controlling or majority shareholders
  • complaints relating to shareholders not being kept up to date as to the company’s finances
  • failure to inform shareholders of meetings and/or exclusion from meetings
  • breach of any existing shareholders agreement or the articles of association
  • one or more of the main shareholders treating the company as exclusively theirs and manipulating matters to draw dividends or salary only for them, or diverting business to other entities controlled by them
  • conflict of interest claims

We have been advising business clients for the past 125 years, and this longevity gives us the collective experience to manage any shareholder dispute that may arise.  Our clients enjoy the confidence of knowing that their dispute will be resolved in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

Our Approach

As with all our dispute resolution procedures, if parties are in deadlock following a shareholder dispute, we will attempt to bring the parties together and offer mediation to resolve the issues.  In all but a few cases, this usually brings about an end to the deadlock and a resuming of business as usual.

If mediation fails, and litigation becomes inevitable, our litigation team will move in to work with our commercial solicitors and fight for the resolution your desire with competence and professionalism.

To talk to us about a shareholder dispute, please phone our Bromley office on 020 8290 0333 or email us at info@judge-priestley.co.uk.