Call now: 0208 866 6464
Existing clients tel: 0208 866 6464

The Sethi Partnership Solicitors

The Barn House, 38 Meadow Way,
Eastcote, Ruislip, Middlesex
England, HA4 8TB

Call now: 0208 866 6464
Existing clients tel: 0208 866 6464

The Sethi Partnership Solicitors

The Barn House, 38 Meadow Way,
Eastcote, Ruislip, Middlesex
England, HA4 8TB

Shareholders Disputes


Disputes among shareholders can lead to huge disagreements especially where the parties have not entered into a suitable Shareholders Agreement. Such agreements set up the rules of engagement between majority and minority shareholders and the Directors (who are usually also shareholders) who are in effective control of the company. In many cases the parties will have structured a joint venture or their investment in a business through the vehicle of private limited company. This is usually done for tax reasons and to avoid personal liability for stakeholders. Such arrangements can be viewed by the courts as a “quasi-partnership”, rather than less valuable shareholdings. These kinds of arrangements can become more complicated when shareholders are also employees of the company.

In a case of a normal minority shareholding the value of the shares is not great as a willing purchaser is unlikely to want to pay much for an interest which bestows little control or reward by way of dividend. In contrast a shareholding in a quasi-partnership is equivalent to a percentage share in the equity of the business and is usually worth more to existing shareholders so that they can control more of the company.

Shareholder Dispute Resolution Lawyers Middlesex 

When such arrangements break down it is usually the minority shareholders who come out worse as they do not have control of the company or know about its finances and they need to consider making an unfair prejudice application to the Companies Court under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006. One of the issues which the court has to address is such cases is whether a genuine quasi-partnership existed or not, and that can be a hard fought and expensive exercise. In the case of a quasi-partnership the court  usually orders one side to buy out the other for a percentage of overall value of the company, as valued by an expert.

If it is not feasible for one side to buy out the other, then the court can order the company to be wound up and any assets distributed after all liabilities of the company have been settled. This is the least satisfactory option as it involves the waste of a huge amount of legal and expert fees which all have to be paid by the parties from their own resources.

Whatever stage you may be at in the development or decline of your relationship with your fellow shareholders the expert shareholder dispute lawyers at The Sethi Partnership Solicitors can help you to resolve matters as quickly and cost effectively as possible with a strategic and pragmatic plan aimed at minimising the expense and delays of court proceedings.

If matters cannot be resolved by negotiation, we can assist you in taking Section 994 proceedings or presenting a winding up petition for dissolution of the company. We can also direct you to expert tax advisers to ensure any arrangement are as tax-efficient as practicable.

Contact our shareholder dispute resolution solicitors in Ruislip, Middlesex today 

Please contact us today on 0208 866 6464 or complete our online enquiry form if you wish to discuss shareholder disputes.

Examples of recent cases in which we acted for:-

  • Investors in a restaurant business who acquired less than 50% of the shares of a company without entering into a Shareholders Agreement and were also employed in the business, who achieved settlement after we wrote a letter of claim indicating an intention to make a Section 994 application to the Companies Court.
  • Respondent to a Section 994 application by minority shareholders, which resulted in settlement due to our advice and strategy.
  • Prospective investors in a joint venture in the catering industry who were seeking to acquire a minority shareholding in return for an investment and who need advice on a shareholders’ agreement.
  • Prospective investors in a company who were seeking to acquire preference shares in return for a time-limited investment and who need advice on a share purchase agreement and shareholders’ agreement.


Coronavirus COVID19 

In light of the Coronavirus and in an effort to assist our clients and the economy, we are offering reduced rates on our fees* in some areas of work valid for the month of April.

We are open for Business as Usual with mindful protection. 

Our lawyers are still fully able and equipped  to assist existing clients and new clients by telephone, email, facetime and online meetings. We are not encouraging face to face appointments but we do have an outside office that can be utilised for signatures etc. whilst keeping in line with social distancing.

Existing Clients
As our legal team are following government advice and working from home, if you need to contact them please call the office or email them directly. All our contact details can be found on our website at ‘Our Team’.

New Clients
At this time we encourage all of our prospective clients to contact us via telephone, e-mail or our online new client enquiry on our website. Your matter will be received by our legal team and they will call or email you back as soon as possible.

If any of our Local Eastcote Residents are alone, struggling or self- isolating and in need of any supplies/food/medicines/ please get in touch with us on 0208 866 6464 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*Reduced rates include: preparation of Wills, initial 1 hour fixed fee for Employment matters, Landlord &Tenant matters, Conveyancing matters for first time buyers and key workers.

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