Seeking Legal Advice can help you get what you Lawfully deserve
Business and partnership disputes, shareholder disagreement and insolvency can be stressful and expensive to resolve in court. There are usually several factors involved and proper solutions must be worked within the framework of Australian commercial law. By hiring trained commercial lawyers, you can minimise the likelihood of taking the matter to court and wasting valuable time and money. Court battles often involve steep costs, stress and worry. Seeking legal assistance out of court can help reduce strife and conflict within the company. Carefully drafted shareholder agreements and business contracts can pave the way for faster resolution and provide avenues for discussion and communication.
Shareholder and business disputes can arise due to multiple reasons and it’s important to understand the rights and duties of all parties involved. This helps obtain greater clarity regarding options available as well as the consequences that may arise if the situation is left unresolved. If the company is closely held among partners and they are involved in the day-to-day running of the company, there could be potential for further disagreements. The partners may fall out because they disagree about operational decisions or because they resent interference from each other. Regardless of the reason, internal disputes are likely to worsen without legal guidance from experts. Commercial lawyers are trained to examine contracts and agreements and provide insights regarding options, terms and conditions.
Some typical problems faced by minority shareholders in Australia include:
- Shareholders may be disgruntled because the directors may be paying themselves high salaries instead of paying out dividends to stakeholders
- Diversion of the business to third party business enterprises by majority shareholders (without consulting minority shareholders)
- Majority shareholders may have implemented or taken certain decisions that benefit certain groups of shareholders but not the rest
- Crucial information such as sale of assets may not have been communicated to all shareholders
- Shareholders are not in receipt of dividends or other monies that are due to them. The details regarding share price evaluations are usually found in the shareholders’ agreement
When disputes arise, they should preferably be resolved through mediation so that every individual involved can work towards an amicable resolution. Opting for arbitration or litigation results in third party involvement in the resolution process which may include judges or arbitrators. Regardless of the nature of the problem, a commercial lawyer will always have your best interests in mind while negotiating on your behalf. It’s important that any contracts or agreements should be compliant with Australian law and it should translate into a strong bottom line for your business interests. Anticipating disputes and providing for problem resolution in the shareholder agreement can help minimise costs and reduce stress and aggravation.