Shareholders, partners, and minority owners in a corporation or business enterprise have legal options when their interests are neglected or contracts and agreements are broken.
Shareholder and partnership disputes often arise when majority owners wrongfully impede minority owners from receiving financial returns. Although minority owners may not be able to control the business, it is important to remember that they can bring a lawsuit and seek damages for improper, oppressive conduct.
The Business Trial Group protects the rights of shareholders, partners, and minority owners. If you’re concerned about mismanagement, self-dealing, unfair compensation, oppression, embezzlement, or other matters that negatively affects your business interests, we may be able to help you recover your losses.
Our contingency-fee business model aligns our success with yours. Even in complex shareholder and partnership disputes, we only receive a fee when we bring your case to a successful resolution, and you never pay upfront hourly fees.
Cases We Handle
There are a few of the common legal disputes that shareholders, partners, and minority owners face. Contact the Business Trial Group to discuss your particular concern and find out your shareholder and partnership rights.
Breach of Contract
Shareholder agreements can be very detailed, this often times does not prevent disputes from arising. If you feel that a business in which you have ownership has failed to uphold its end of your contract, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit.
In many cases, shareholders file a claim when the business in question has denied them their due returns, prevented them from participating in company benefits to which they are entitled, or misused company funds. These behaviors are sometimes called shareholder oppression.
Shareholder rights differ by state, and when filing a claim it is important to inquire about your entitlement to access the company’s financial information. This information can be very helpful in demonstrating that a company misused funds or breached shareholder agreements.
There are many things that can go wrong with a partnership agreement, including management conflicts, compensation disputes, contract breaches, and asset division disputes. Partnership disputes are often high-stakes situations that can take a financial and emotional toll on those involved.
The Business Trial Group has helped clients win back their losses, fight back against abusive or dishonest partners, and reinstate their interests in partnerships that were wrongfully terminated.
With any partnership dispute, it is important to retain copies of any contracts, agreements, or other documents that may assist you in a case. These disputes can be contentious, but our team of seasoned legal professionals is equipped to make the strongest possible case for your claim.
Minority Owner Oppression
Minority shareholder oppression is primarily an issue in closely held corporations. A minority shareholder in a close corporation may be unable to divest. This puts him or her in a vulnerable position if the majority shareholders make decisions that marginalize the minority’s interests.
Conduct that courts commonly find oppressive includes:
- Improperly withholding returns on the minority’s investment.
- Improperly terminating a minority’s employment, management positions, and related benefits.
- Unauthorized dissolution of minority owners’ shares.
- Compensating majority shareholders excessively and at minority expense.
- Excluding minority owners from decision-making processes.
- Not allowing minorities to protect themselves from equity dilution.
Minority shareholders who are being oppressed by majority owners may be able to bring a legal claim to protect their financial interests. Possible remedies include damages (such as suppressed dividends), sale of the minority’s shares, revocation and restitution of the minority’s investment, or dissolution of the business.
Contact the Business Trial Group
Improper, oppressive conduct by your business partners can put you in a vulnerable position. Often, the only way to put an end to unfair practices is through a lawsuit.
We understand that a legal dispute with business partners can be a sensitive subject. During a free case review, we can explain what your legal rights and options are. Should you become a client, you will not be charged hourly fees, no matter the complexity of your case.