What should you do if you fall out with a business partner?
There are lots of names for the stressful situation that can ensue after a fall out with a business partner: shareholder disputes, director disputes or owner/manager disputes. These phrases apply to a whole host of different situations, maybe one of the scenarios below is familiar to you, a partner or a contact?
- My partner says that I own less of the business than we agreed
- My partner and I never recorded our business ownership in writing (it was based on trust). Now we’ve fallen out – how do I claim my share of a business?
- How do I resolve my dispute with my co-founder?
- I like how our business is going, but don’t want to work with my partner any more – can I get out with the business intact?
- How do I get out of a bad business deal?
- How do I enforce a partnership agreement?
- How can I get my relationship with my business partner back on track?
As dispute resolution lawyers, we’re often called in to help with these kinds of situations. We’re trusted to navigate the way through often complex situations both in the UK and beyond. Our approach is in the label of our expertise – we want to help you resolve the dispute to your satisfaction.
Often in the above scenarios, you’ll have tried several other ports of call before you call a lawyer. But as John Timpson says in this Daily Telegraph article, consulting a lawyer before you speak to your business partner can often be a good idea.
Others may well be better placed to help you work on your relationship, and we’d certainly advise you to look for some advice in that area, but at Bellevue Law, we can help at several stages to help you see, dispassionately, about the strength of your case.
How can Bellevue Law help you resolve your dispute?
Some things that we have found to be useful in resolving shareholder disputes include:
- Negotiation – a face to face negotiation between partners, once you have received advise as to your legal position
- Mediation – where parties have a healthy, open discussion about their points of view without prejudicing their position in relation to any potential litigation and can be successfully guided by an effective mediator to a resolution; and
- Litigation – taking a formal approach to asserting your rights via the court system
What’s it like working with us on shareholder disputes?
We’ve had significant experience of working for major City firms, so technically, we know what we’re doing. Equally, we know how it feels to be part of a smaller business and so we are often called on to advise clients on resolving ownership matters when the disputes range in value from £100,000 to £500,000. That’s not to say that we can’t act when the dispute is worth more or less than those values, just that that’s probably our sweet spot.
We’ll make sure that you know what you’re getting into before you commit to any action. We’ll be as clear as we can be on pricing.
I have a shareholder dispute, what do I do next?
We’re happy to have an initial chat on the phone (+44 20 3432 2110) if that’s your preferred starting point. Alternatively, you can contact us to see if we’re well placed to help and we’ll be back in touch very shortly.
Other sources you might find useful
Here are some other (non-legal) articles about what you can do to resolve this kind of dispute.