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Company Shareholder/Partnership

Dispute Resolution for Businesses

Meet David Mallinson

We act for a very wide range of businesses, including companies, joint ventures and partnerships of all descriptions and sizes in dispute resolution and litigation matters.

The success of any business rests ultimately with its management team, whether that is formed of company directors or the partners in the business. The continuing success of the relationship between those involved in management often defines how that business is perceived by its trading partners and its employees, and therefore ultimately how successful that business is.

A crucial aspect of this ongoing and often deeply personal relationship is the ability of the decision makers to resolve different or diverging views on what the strengths of the business are and the future direction and focus of the business moving forward. Unfortunately it is sometimes the case that resolving these types of problems cannot be achieved on an entirely internal basis.

We are in a position to offer effective and pragmatic commercial advice where there is a breakdown in the relationship between individual shareholders, a shareholder and the company or the partners of the business. These relationships are central to the success of any business and as such they often attract strong personal feelings and opinions which requires effective and considerate management in order to secure an outcome which is acceptable to both parties.

Resolving disputes without litigation

More often than not disputes of this nature can and should be capable of resolution without formal intervention from the courts. It is not uncommon to find detailed shareholder or partnership agreements which at least go some way to assist in identifying a method of proposed resolution of any dispute which arises. However any potential resolution still requires effective intervention, advice and client management to secure the best outcome.

Depending on the nature of the dispute this may involve the appointment of an independent accountant to determine a value in the context of a shareholder ‘buy out’ or the appointment of a third party mediator in order to undertake a formal mediation exercise, which is frequently seen as an effective way of achieving a resolution in respect of claims and disputes between partners, directors and / or shareholders.

Court intervention

In the absence of some form of negotiated settlement being achieved the court has the ability to address specific areas and concerns arising out of disputes between shareholders, including unfair prejudice petitions, claims for relief arising out of the dissolution of a partnership and the associated distribution of partnership assets, claims for the just and equitable winding up of a company, derivative actions brought by disgruntled shareholders and claims brought against directors for breach of fiduciary duties.

Delays in achieving a resolution to a partnership or shareholder dispute can result in a further deterioration in relations which in turn will have a direct or indirect impact on the success of the business venture.

If you are involved in a dispute of this kind it is important to seek advice as early as possible. Please contact a member of our Dispute Resolution team. Girlings has offices in Canterbury, Ashford and Herne Bay.

Our Experts

David Mallinson

Head of Department
Dispute Resolution

Andrew Watson

Partner
Dispute Resolution, Contested Wills & Estates

Nicola Webster

Associate Solicitor
Dispute Resolution

John Quinlan

Assistant Solicitor
Dispute Resolution

Katie Collis

Trainee Solicitor
Dispute Resolution

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