Commercial Disputes

Sometimes companies can find themselves in a disagreement between themselves, owners, shareholders, managers and directors can find that they are no longer working to a common goal and relatively minor disagreements can escalate into an irretrievable breakdown, particularly within smaller “family” type businesses.

Often in these circumstances the businesses existing legal advisors cannot (or should not) act, the creation of competing interests creates a conflict of interest which should prevent them from “taking a side”.

We have helped a range of businesses deal with these difficult and trying circumstances as well as helping individuals who have decided to leave businesses in these difficult circumstances.

Often it is difficult for those in a business to relate to how the law might describe their commercial arrangements and whilst most people understand the difference between a partnership or a limited company, that distinction can blur. The law recognises ‘quasi partnerships’ where companies and those involved acquire the traits of a more conventional partnership. These are often found within smaller or family businesses and legal advice is essential in such circumstances.

If you are sure as to which form of business you are dealing with then the following information should help you identify the type of dispute you may be involved in. If you are unsure as to the form of business then please contact us for further information.

Shareholder disputes

We work with shareholders and assist them in circumstances where they and their company no longer share the same objectives. Whilst in an ideal world a shareholder agreement will be in place to assist in resolving such disagreements more often that not, that is not the case and shareholders will have to look to the law to protect their position.

We can assist where companies wish to remove difficult shareholders or where shareholders believe that the company or its board of directors is no longer operating as it should.

We are experienced in resolving disputes as to ownership as well as assisting with allegations of misconduct or misfeasance by directors and shareholders.

Partnership Disputes

A Partnership is the easiest method of people joining together to pursue shared commercial objectives and whilst it is best practice to enter into a formal partnership agreement, a great number of people overlook that precaution in the understandable pursuit of more immediate commercial gains.

If you are in partnership but no longer in agreement with your partners then you should take legal advice before you do anything that might be to you or your partnership’s detriment.

The law of Partnership is long established and in the absence of alternative arrangements, then the Partnership Act 1890 will apply. Disputes between partners are complicated and potentially expensive so be careful when dealing with the unintended consequences of 125 year old legislation for your business.

Key Contact

Martin Stafford


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