Company and partnership disputes

Disputes in the boardroom, or between shareholders, can have a disruptive and detrimental impact on the performance of any business, particularly on its stability, finances and, in extreme cases, on its reputation.

Our commercial dispute resolution team have significant experience in these matters.

We are experienced in dealing with these sometimes complex and often emotionally charged disputes. As a result, we recognise the need for effective dispute resolution and, wherever possible, to achieve this outcome promptly and in a strategic and commercially focused way.

We provide a broad range of legal services in relation to disputes of this nature and we regularly act for clients both within the UK and internationally. Our clients include directors, majority and minority shareholders and companies ranging from privately owned family businesses to large corporations. Our services also encompass contentious issues arising from joint ventures, commercial/professional partnerships, and LLPs.

Our expertise includes:

  • Acting on behalf of minority or majority shareholders when allegations of “unfair prejudice” are made and which potentially involve direct or derivative claims;
  • Advising and representing partners and partnerships when disputes occur;
  • Advising and representing participants in relation to disputes under shareholder agreements or joint ventures;
  • Acting for (executive and non-executive) directors concerning disputes/claims based on alleged misfeasance and/or breaches of their statutory duties. For example: where there are allegations of a conflict of interest, wrongful or fraudulent trading, negligence, or the misappropriation of a company’s assets.
  • Resolving issues in relation to potential insurance coverage under Directors and Officers type policies, including claims against underwriters when cover is disputed.
  • Post sales disputes including breach of warranty and failure to pay deferred consideration claims

Our recent experience includes:

  • Acting for a director and minority shareholder of a family-run business in respect of an unfair prejudice petition against 2 other directors of the company involved in multiple breaches of directors’ duties. The case was widely reported as a prime example of the Court’s very wide powers to grant relief for unfair prejudice, which are not limited to the more common order for a share buy-out.
  • Acting for the 3 defendants to a claim involving fraudulent breach of directors’ duties, knowing receipt and dishonest assistance. The claim involved the alleged diversion of a development opportunity away from the claimant’s company.
  • Acting for a director and shareholder of a company in an on-going claim involving allegations of breaches of statutory, fiduciary and contractual duties, unjust enrichment and misappropriation of company funds.
  • Acting for a company in the context of a construction project, which involved serious allegations regarding the conduct of one of the directors/shareholders.
  • Acting for a majority shareholder in a dispute regarding the running of a company, including corporate governance issues.
  • Acting in relation to the minority shareholder and director in a family-owned business, which included allegations of diversion of business to a new company in breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Acting in relation to defending claims under the Partnership Act, constructive trust and proprietary estoppel.

The company and partnership disputes team

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