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Shareholder and partnership disputes are often driven by emotion. One side may feel the other isn’t working hard enough. Or maybe one just wants out. Or maybe they just don’t like each other anymore. How do you resolve the dispute and have one side leave without the business suffering?
Ultimately, you have to find a way to break up the partners that satisfies everyone and enables the business – the most valuable asset in the dispute – to continue. A quick, negotiated agreement is usually the best option, allowing everyone to get on with their lives and with business. But sometimes litigation may be necessary.
Our lawyers recognise the toll these disputes can take – on those directly involved, the business and staff. It’s an emotionally draining distraction. Our focus is on arriving at a quick, satisfactory resolution for all sides. Ultimately, it’s in everyone’s best interests.
Macpherson Kelley acted for four shareholders of a company seeking to remove a fifth because he had failed to meet sales targets and they were concerned about his behaviour. The outgoing shareholder threatened to take legal action against our clients, arguing their actions against him were ‘oppressive’ under the law. We showed his arguments were weak and he was at risk himself if he went through with his threat of court. We suggested there was a better outcome available and negotiated a buyout of his shares in the business.
When a property developer was suddenly shut out of the business by her business partner of 20 years and told she had no interests in the group, she came to us for help. After our attempt to set out the history of the pair’s business relationship was rejected by the other side, we initiated urgent court injunctions. The other side didn’t want to go through the court process and the matter was settled with our client receiving a number of properties from the group, allowing her to carry on in her own business.