The Stark & Stark Shareholder and Partner Disputes practice attorneys have extensive experience in helping individuals set up corporations, partnerships, LLCs, closely held companies, joint ventures and business agreements. We know firsthand that basic to the success of a new venture is a clear understanding of the increasingly complex and regulated arena in which today’s businesses operate and how understanding a client’s business from the ground up and helping the client explore visions for the future is an important role and fundamental to the future growth of any business.
Business professionals, as well as family members enter into business ventures on a regular basis. At the creation, partners typically see eye-to-eye and enter into shareholder agreements regarding buy-ins, buy-outs, operations, finance, and other relevant matters and work hard to make a business grow. A good shareholder agreement is the most significant building block on which to found the business, since a strong agreement is essential to helping the business run smoothly.
Our attorneys counsel clients in setting up and running a business as well as on a myriad of issues including but not limited to:
- The rights and obligations of majority and minority shareholders, officers and directors.
- The need for protective procedures to be built into the business structure to ensure that officers and directors are discharging their duties in good faith and in the best interests of the corporation.
- Understanding corporate procedures and compliance, voting and resolutions.
- Negotiation, mediation, and arbitration of conflict resolutions.
- Unfair or illegal actions, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secrets, unfair competition.
- Employment questions of compensation, severance, pension benefits, stock plans, wrongful termination, non-compete agreements, policy manuals, employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, etc.
- Business succession planning.
- Corporate restructures, asset sales and purchases, stock sales and purchases, mergers and acquisitions, corporate takeovers.
- Interpretation and enforcement of partnership and shareholder agreements.
- Breach of fiduciary duty, insolvency, bankruptcy, commercial debts.
Shareholder and Partner Disputes
As time goes by and challenges begin to strain the business, one of the biggest threats to the stability of a business is disagreements within management and/or among shareholders. Internal disputes can be as expensive and devastating and bitter disputes among owners can demoralize the organization, stifle growth, and use up the company’s assets. If a dispute ends up going to court, the litigation can be extremely costly both emotionally and financially. In addition, judicial and legislative remedies are often limited and inequitable. Worst case, protracted court battles can drain a company of all of its assets and render it insolvent.
A good shareholder agreement along with experienced legal counsel can go a long way toward preventing disputes from arising in the first place and in keeping disputes from escalating into protracted court battles that no one really wins in the end. At Stark & Stark, we encourage our clients to resolve disputes out of court and make every effort to resolve conflicts efficiently, creatively, fairly, and cost effectively – often ensuring the very survival of the business itself.