We’re experts in shareholder dispute resolutions
Optimal Solicitors will be your sounding board, offering tailored legal advice so you can determine the right way forward. We’ll handle things quickly and effectively, meaning you can settle the dispute and move on with your business.
Our team always explains the law the straightforward way, meaning no matter how complex your case, you can understand how we’re working in your interests. With our help, you can begin a better future.
How we can help in shareholder disputes
Speak to our shareholder dispute litigators by arranging a free initial consultation today. You’ll be able to discover what your legal rights are, and how exactly we can help you.
Shareholder dispute solicitors
Shareholder dispute solicitors advice
Disputes are best avoided as they can end up being expensive and complex, and will most likely negatively impact the company’s day-to-day operations.
What causes minority shareholder disputes?
How can I enforce my rights as a shareholder?
- Propose a resolution to a shareholder dispute
- Request that the board of directors take legal action in the company’s name against an individual director (shareholders aren’t usually able to sue in the business’ name)
- Make an application to the courts for the company to be closed down - for instance in the situation where there is a justifiable loss of faith in management due to serious company mismanagement on behalf of the directors (like fraud)
Is the company liable for the fraudulent acts of a director?
Can the shareholders dismiss a director?
What are the common shareholder disputes?
- Conflicts of interest
- Director and shareholder disputes where directors have breached their duties
- Certain dividend policies seeming to favour specific shareholders over others
- Unfair prejudice by majority shareholders
- Some shareholders feeling that they’re not being updated when it comes to the company’s finances
- A violation of a shareholder agreement or the articles of association
- Concern that a shareholder is diverting business
Avoiding disputes in the first place – getting the right shareholders’ agreement
Shareholders’ agreements can be created at any point in the company’s life cycle, although it’s best to draft one sooner to reduce the risk of any future disagreements. They outline the rights and responsibilities of all the shareholders, and should include the following as a minimum:
- When shareholders’ meetings will be held, and how and when members can request one
- The process for shareholders to form a quorum (the minimum level of attendance needed) to vote on issues
- Details around selling or transferring shares, any limitations related to this, and how the shares are valued
- How shareholders provide capital for the business, along with what happens when they’re unable to make their contribution
- When a shareholder can be bought out of the company
- What happens if a shareholder dies
- What happens if there was an involuntary transfer of a shareholder’s assets
- The official disagreement settlement procedure
Potential claims available in a shareholder dispute
- Section 994/minority shareholder petition – For unfair prejudice against minority shareholders.
- Derivative action – Where shareholders contest the acts or failures of a director or third party. They may have carried out some form of negligence, default, or breach of duty or trust.
- Winding up of the company – Where it’s believed it’s just best to close the company.
What rights do I have as a minority shareholder?
- 5% or more – You can request the circulation of a written resolution or that the company calls a general meeting, as well as prevent the deemed re-appointment of an auditor.
- 10% – You can order a poll vote at a general meeting, as well as summon an audit.
- More than 10% – You can block an ‘agreement to short notice’ of a general meeting.
- More than 25% – You can stop a special resolution, as well as a compromise arrangement.
Other common clauses that minority shareholders opt to put in agreements include:
- Powers of veto (so they can prevent actions unless the minority agrees)
- Dilution of shares (so the majority cannot drown out minorities)
- A dispute resolution clause (to block abuse of minority shareholder rights)
Solicitors specialising in shareholder disputes
Why choose our shareholder dispute solicitors?
What problems can arise if you don’t have a shareholders’ agreement?
As shareholder dispute solicitors, we do what it takes to resolve disagreements as quickly and amicably as possible, and make sure there’s minimal impact on the business. We’ll have dealt with a number of shareholder dispute cases just like yours before. That means you can trust us to manage your disagreement too.
Just some of the reasons our clients choose us include:
- We reduce your costs – We provide our services at the lowest cost possible. You can also receive upfront advice with a free initial consultation.
- We make legal advice straightforward – We remove the jargon from the shareholder disputes process, so you can understand exactly what your rights are.
- We adapt to you – We champion flexibility, adjusting our opening hours and how we communicate to make sure our service fits around you.