Shareholder Disputes

Shareholder Disputes

Shareholder disputes can arise in a range of situations and have the potential to get quickly out of hand, particularly in smaller owned-managed businesses. A calm and reasoned approach is crucial, particularly where tensions are running high and threats are being made which could have catastrophic consequences for everyone.

How we can help

Our team of dispute resolution lawyers are skilled negotiators who regularly work alongside shareholders and directors to find commercially sensible solutions to a range of problems, from alleged misconduct by board members to claims of unfair prejudice made by members with a minority shareholding.

We are particularly adept at addressing disputes where the only workable outcome is for an aggrieved shareholder to leave and in this scenario we can help by arranging a buyback of shares (along with any required valuation) or a corporate restructure to secure the transfer of ownership rights to part of the company ' s business instead.

For disputes that cannot be resolved through negotiation we can help to support you though mediation or arbitration, to access expert determination services or to begin court proceedings.

Shareholder rights

Shareholders have a range of rights when the feel aggrieved at the way they are treated or at how the company they have chosen to invest in is being run. We provide advice on all of these and specifically on rights to:

  • inspect company records and to require a general meeting to be called to air shareholder grievances; 
  • pass a resolution to sack the current board of directors where the majority of shareholders are in favor of this;
  • take action to restrain the directors from completing transactions outside of their powers, via an injunction if necessary;
  • ask the court “s permission to bring a derivative action against a director guilty of wrongdoing where the board has refused to act;
  • make an application under insolvency rules to have the company wound up where relations between members and directors have irretrievable broken down; and
  • bring an unfair prejudice claim where the affairs of the company are being conducted in a way that is unfairly prejudicial to all or some of its members.

Why choose IMD Solicitors?

Our dispute resolution solicitors are experienced in resolving a wide range of shareholder disputes involving both UK-based companies and international organisations with offshore operations and complex cross-border structures.

We act for shareholders, investors and directors in equal measure and pride ourselves on being able to give commercially sensible advice which takes account of any competing interests that may be at play.

We will always strive to resolve disputes amicably where possible or to utilise alternative dispute resolution methods in preference to court proceedings. However, where litigation cannot be avoided or is needed to protect your interests then we will proactively fight your corner.

We can also help you with director disputes and wider corporate and commercial matters, including corporate governance and compliance and the drafting of commercial contracts.

List of notable dispute resolution cases

  • Multi-jurisdictional dispute involving international consortium of corporate shareholders of a Saudi oil and gas subsidiary, involving allegations of fraud and breaches of contractual obligations. Liquidation of the subsidiary was sought by a proportion of shareholders. Settlement was reached between all and liquidation successfully prevented.
  • Dual-jurisdictional dispute involving essentially a battle between conglomerate of companies, with proceedings lodged with various courts across two jurisdictions involving complex jurisdictional and commercial matters.
  • Claim against international plc involving defending allegations of fraud. Concluded successfully and saved the Client from insolvency.
  • Acting for a Claimant in a dispute with a global payment processing institution, involving misconduct allegations and challenge to jurisdiction. Case settled at over 80% of the amount claimed despite initial arguments and denial by the institution.
  • Defended a breach of contract claim involving a cross-border supply of goods. Using strong defence arguments but preserving our client’s commercial position, we managed to resolve the matter through a reduction of the main claim by 75% and potential costs liability by 80%.
  • Acted for a construction company in a claim to recover an unpaid contractual fees. Judgment in favour of the Client secured a trial despite little documentary evidence available and relying mostly on witness evidence.
  • Represented a company Director in a successfully defended claim involving allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duties
  • Acting for a claimant in a construction dispute. The matter proceeded to trial where the Claimant successfully obtained a judgement for the full amount.
  • Acting for a defendant who failed to file a defence and had default judgement entered against him prior to instructing our firm. The judgement was set aside and eventually the value of the claim was reduced by 75%.
  • Acting for a creditor in a reported High Court case relating to enforcement of a foreign judgement in the UK. Successfully defended an application by a debtor to declare the judgement unenforceable.
  • Regularly acting for a group of companies dealing with medical equipment manufacturing and worldwide distribution.  Assisting with both contentious and non-contentious cases ranging from commercial and employment to GDPR compliance.
  • Represented a Client in a complex shareholders’ dispute concluded by the way of agreement and voluntary liquidation of the company.
  • Acting for the UK based construction company in a dispute with a contractors. Settled the claim for circa.  90% of the amount originally claimed.
  • Pursuing a claim against a firm of solicitors who have provided our client with negligent advice. Successful recovery of circa 80% of the loss incurred.
  • Acting for a large meat supplier in a dispute with the distributor arising due to faulty product being introduced earlier in the supply chain.
  • Successfully defending a client from committal to prison, in a private prosecution brought by the insurers of a third party following a road traffic collision.
  • Acting in a dispute with the main contractor on a construction project. Successfully recovered our client’s losses incurred as a result of the main contractor and successfully defended all counterclaims that were brought against our client.
  • Acting for an investor in a dispute with a trading company. Successfully obtained a judgment for the sums deducted from the client’s account by the trading company.
  • Acting for a landlord in possession proceedings. Successfully obtained a court order for possession and evicted the tenant using the court appointed bailiff.
  • Acting for a claimant in a Professional Negligence matter, successfully settling the case before trial.

Key contacts

For more information, please contact Olexandr Kyrychenko on 0330 107 0106 . Alternatively you can make an appointment to see a member of our team at one of our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester.

(0044) 330 107 0106
Shareholder Disputes

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