Shareholder and partnership disputes can be highly contentious, with both the legal complexities and commercial sensitivities of a situation to consider. There is the potential for significant time and legal costs being required to achieve a resolution and substantial harm to a business if the wrong approach is taken.

At Debenhams Ottaway, our litigation team is highly experienced in dealing with all types of shareholder and partnership disputes. We know that most people want these matters resolved as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, without harming their business or their personal interests.

We take a pragmatic view of shareholder and partnership disputes, making sure our clients fully understand their legal position, the outcome they may be able to achieve and the likely costs involved. Wherever possible, we will seek an amicable resolution without court proceedings, but we are prepared to fight your case robustly where needed.

How our shareholder and partnership disputes solicitors can help you

Clear advice on your legal position and options

Often with shareholder and partnership disputes, your exact legal position can be confusing and difficult to determine. While you may believe you know what is right, it is important to be able to back this up with clear evidence.

Our shareholder and partnership disputes solicitors are experts at reviewing the evidence, including shareholders’ agreements and partnership agreements, so we can give you the strongest basis for your legal position.

A shareholders’ agreement or partnership agreement should contain provision for resolving disputes, but if the situation you find yourself in is not covered or a partner/shareholder is refusing to follow the process set out, we can advise on your position.

Once we have the evidence, we can then advise you on your legal position and options for resolving your dispute, including transparent guidance on the likely costs involved.

Seeking an early resolution for your shareholder and partnership dispute

Many shareholder and partnership disputes can be resolved quickly once our expert team is involved. It is usually in the best interests of a business for these matters to be discussed and a way forward agreed informally in a meeting between shareholders or partners.

If a more formal approach is needed, we can produce a well-drafted letter before action setting out your position, the outcome you would like to achieve and the steps you will take if a satisfactory conclusion cannot be reached.

Frequently, this is all that is needed to prompt a resolution to a shareholder and partnership dispute as the fact you have instructed a solicitor shows that you are serious and that there is legal weight behind your position.

Where further correspondence or negotiation is required, our team can take care of this for you, making the whole process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for shareholder and partnership disputes

Our shareholder and partnership disputes solicitors are highly skilled in alternative dispute resolution. We can use a variety of methods, including private negotiation and mediation to work towards and amicable resolution of your dispute wherever possible.

By helping you to avoid unnecessary court proceedings, we can keep the time and cost involved in resolving your dispute to a minimum, while making sure you get the best outcome available for your interests. We can also minimise the risk of any harm to your business and give you the best chance of salvaging the relationship between shareholders/partners in a business.

Our team will always be realistic about any settlement you reach and will tell you honestly if we believe you may be able to get a better outcome by taking matters to court.

Taking a shareholder and partnership dispute to court

In the event that your shareholder and partnership dispute cannot be resolved satisfactorily through an amicable settlement, our team can support you through taking court action. We will be with your every step of the way, helping to prepare your case and securing the best possible representation for any hearings required.

We will always be realistic about your chances of success and will never advise taking a shareholder and partnership dispute to court unless we honestly believe this is in your best interests. If you are unhappy with the outcome of court proceedings, we can advise you on your right to appeal and work with you through the appeals process.

Revising shareholders’ agreements and partnership agreements to avoid future disputes

In many cases, shareholder disputes and partnership disputes arise due to defects in the agreements governing those relationships. Those defects often only come to light after a dispute has arisen, but if the business is to continue trading, they should be addressed for the future.

Having a legal expert review your shareholders’ agreement or partnership agreement can identify any potential issues that could increase the risk of future disputes and/or make it harder for such disputes to be resolved smoothly. Updating these agreements can then help to protect your business against further shareholder or partnership disputes.

If you need help revising a shareholders’ agreement or partnership agreement, our corporate and commercial team will be happy to assist.

Get in touch with our shareholder and partnership disputes solicitors in St Albans, Hertfordshire

Our lawyers have the right people and technical excellence to achieve the best possible outcome for even the most complex shareholder and partnership disputes. If you need assistance with a shareholder and partnership dispute, please contact us today.

We have local offices in St Albans and Radlett and we regularly help individuals and businesses from across the wider Hertfordshire area and London.