Shareholder and boardroom disputes

Disputes between business owners and company directors are disruptive, expensive and can be extremely damaging to a business’s ability to function, particularly in cases of deadlock.

Our commercial disputes team has extensive experience of resolving such disputes, whether by litigation or negotiation, and are always mindful to the client’s business objectives when considering tactics.

Should a shareholder and boardroom dispute arise, we have wide experience in acting on minority shareholder petitions (for both petitioning minority shareholder and for the majority), derivative actions, and actions to recover losses from misbehaving directors.

We use all the options open to our clients, and always seek to achieve results using company resolutions and meetings or employment-related actions where possible to try to avoid more substantial and uncertain litigation.

Our experience

  • Acting in a high profile derivative action, providing helpful guidance as to when a claimant can obtain a prospective indemnity from company funds for such litigation – Bhullar v Bhullar
  • Acting for a 50 per cent shareholder owner in a dispute with his co-director and shareholder regarding our client’s unlawful removal purportedly undertaken by the other director following a dispute. The matter was resolved by negotiation resulting in a buy out of our client on generous terms backed by a personal guarantee from the wrongdoing director.
  • Acting for the managing director and 50 per cent shareholder in a marina development company following a dispute between him and the other shareholder. The company had no deadlock provision in the articles nor was there a shareholder agreement. The buy-out of the other party was agreed by consent.
  • Acted for a 33 per cent shareholder in a large personal injury law firm worth £12 million. This was a dispute where both parties sought to rely on a clause in the shareholder agreement to acquire the other’s shares for £1. We managed to drive the matter to an early settlement.

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