Business relationships can be fulfilling and productive, but sometimes, rapidly or over the course of years, they can deteriorate, becoming adversarial or even toxic. When the latter occurs, the partners or shareholders involved need the advice, guidance, and legal representation of strong business attorneys like those at Perez Mayoral, P.A. If your business is located in South Florida and you find yourself mired in partnership & shareholder disputes, contact us for a prompt, effective response.
How Perez Mayoral Can Help You Resolve Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Most individuals who go into partnership with one another are in sync relative to their goals and visions of how to attain them. Nonetheless, circumstances may change, and they may find themselves arguing or even considering litigation. That’s where our knowledgeable, highly competent partnership dispute attorneys come in.
In many cases, partnership & shareholder disputes can be negotiated by agile attorneys so that litigation never becomes necessary. In other instances, mediation or arbitration are good alternatives. Our partnership dispute attorneys are adept in all types of dispute resolution. Once we take you on as a client, we will deeply commit to protecting your best interests, whether or not we have to take your case to court. Our history of successful outcomes speaks for itself.
Common Causes of Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
The causes of partnership disputes are varied, but typically fall into one of the following categories:
Disagreements About Distribution or Investment of Profits
Disputes about how resources should be allocated or distributed or about how profits should be reinvested in the company are fairly common. It is entirely possible that two or more well-intentioned partners disagree about whether profits should be channeled into new product research, expansion of the employee base, or improving the central office or storefront. Such disputes are likely to be able to be settled through negotiations or mediation.
Perceived Imbalance of Workloads
In one partner feels overburdened by work while another is taking a vacation, tempers may start to flare. As in marriages, what seems to be an unequal distribution of labor is a common cause of conflict and bitterness. At times, such a dispute can be resolved by a careful review of the partnership agreement interpreted by attorneys representing each party. At other times, it must be arbitrated or taken to court.
Questions About the Balance of Power Among Partners
Partners often differ about which party has the final authority to make decisions, even about small matters (e.g. office decor, petty cash disbursement, employee bonus disbursements.) Our diplomatic partnership dispute attorneys will usually be able to help you come to a meeting of the minds that works for everyone or proceed with mediation or arbitration if necessary.
Financial or Other Misconduct of One of the Partners
In some cases, you may believe that your partner has engaged in serious misconduct by:
- Embezzling or misappropriating funds
- Violating a non-compete agreement
- Misusing trade secrets
- Defaming you or someone else in the firm
- Falsifying books, financial records, or receipts/invoices
- Using inventory for personal gain
- Claiming false expenses
When you bring such serious misconduct to our attention, you can trust us to be discreet and to use our well-honed investigative skills to get to the bottom of the situation, tracking evidence and interviewing witnesses who can help to prove your case.
Breaches of Contract
One of the reasons clients come to Perez Mayoral is that we are well-known for crafting precisely worded partnership documents. A well-written and effective partnership agreement can go a long way to preventing partnership disputes, whether they are related to employee salaries and benefits, wrongful interference with a business opportunity, or discriminatory practices. We are also excellent interpreters of legalese, so we will be able to clarify whether one partner has actually breached your partnership agreement.
Common Causes of Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Most often, shareholder disputes have to do with the imbalance of power between majority and minority shareholders, perceived violations of the shareholder agreement, or arguments about the direction the company is headed relative to purchases, policies, expansion, or investment.
Minority shareholders may feel that their rights are being trampled; majority shareholders may feel they are being prevented from moving the company forward. In any case, shareholder disputes can get ugly, interfering with the company’s profit margin, so contacting one of our accomplished shareholder dispute attorneys early on is a good idea. Some of the types of shareholder disputes Perez Mayoral handles involve:
Shareholder oppression occurs when majority shareholders in a company act with the intent to violate the rights and interests of minority shareholders. It is not uncommon for minority shareholder oppression to take the form of minority shareholders being denied access to documents revealing company finances. Lack of transparency definitely weakens their power base.
Another way majority shareholders sometimes oppress other shareholders is by attempting to “squeeze them out,” compelling them to sell their shares for an unfair price. This is more likely to occur in companies in which shares are not publicly traded.
Shareholder Agreement Violations
If the rights assured to you in a shareholder agreement are being violated, you need the services of our savvy shareholder dispute attorneys to protect you. As noted earlier, our legal team is ready to take action against anyone who is depriving you of your rights as a minority shareholder, rights to which you are legally entitled according to the terms of the shareholder agreement.
Disagreement Over the Direction of the Company
Although minority shareholders have voting power in selecting board members for corporations, they obviously do not have the clout of the majority shareholders. If the majority shareholders are steering the company in a direction that violates their fiduciary duty or goes blatantly against the company’s ostensible mission, as a minority shareholder you have the right not only to object forcefully but to pursue a lawsuit.
Contact Our Experienced Partnership & Shareholder Dispute Attorneys Today
Don’t back down if you are enmeshed in a business dispute in which you are in the right. If you are being pressured to yield power to a business partner or to the majority shareholders of a company in which you hold stock, consult with our well-informed law team now. Contact us so we can provide you with the legal protection you need and the personalized service you deserve.