In owner-managed businesses disputes at shareholder/director level can arise from many causes. Examples include
- A disagreement as to overall strategy
- general company mismanagement
- a director diverting business away from the company for personal advantage
- a founder may find that he is suffering unwarranted exclusion from management and seeks a remedy
- a director may breach his fiduciary or other duties to the company putting personal interests before those of the company
Shareholders are provided some statutory protection. If some harm or prejudice is committed against a members’ interest which can be said to be unfair then a court can regulate the conduct of the Company’s affairs in the future. The court has wide powers – if it is just an equitable to wind the company up, it can. This is useful to know if you are a minority shareholder who has found him/herself unfairly coerced by the majority. Conversely if you are a shareholder on the receiving end of a minority shareholder application Heald can advise on how the dispute may be effectively and speedily resolved. Any dispute serves to distract the company away from making a profit. If you are in this position advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity.
Adopting a pragmatic approach that seeks to limit the disruption to the core business and safeguard the company’s value is central to Heald’s approach. We have a well-developed commercial understanding of how legislation and case law combine with litigation and dispute resolution processes to ensure that the rights of our clients are protected.