Claims by shareholders or the company can be time-consuming and stressful for directors. Our team has been resolving disputes for directors since 2002. Let us reduce the stress and resolve the dispute. Contact our team today for a free consultation.
Companies can be simple at the start – usually set up with the best of intentions.
But it is a fact of business life that however well a company is set up at the outset, directors and business owners can unfortunately fall out. Simple matters such as whether the roles are evenly spread can quickly escalate to more serious allegations of individuals trying to take over, setting up a competing business and generally acting in breach of their duties to the company.
Common claims we can help with
Our expert team specialises in resolving disputes between directors and shareholders. We work hard to do this before they get out of control. We can help directors in the following situations
1. Threats to removal a director
We regularly help directors who threatened with removal from their role by the shareholder owners of the company. We can help by understanding what rights the shareholders have and examining whether they have any legal basis to threaten the removal of a director. Often shareholders think they can do this – when the reality is very much different.
2. Shareholder demands for control
We often come across situations where shareholders are making the running of the company difficult by demanding information or documents (often relating to finances) which they might not be entitled to.
3. Unpaid Dividend claims
Claims by shareholders for dividends are common. Often shareholders believe dividends are always due and payable – and they don’t understand the responsibilities of the directors when it comes to the finances of the business, accounting obligations and ensuring ongoing viability and profitability of the company.
4. Misconduct allegations
We regularly deal with allegations against directors on such things as payment of too much director salary, preferring certain suppliers over others, allegations that the director has a competing business or interest or the company not sticking to the business it was set up for. Whatever the allegation – we are sure to have seen it before.
5. Minority shareholder Unfair prejudice claims
These care claims brought by minority shareholders against the company. Minority shareholders often allege they are being prejudiced by the actions of the directors – and can bring a claim for damages. We are very experienced in these types of claims and regularly defend them.
6. Just & equitable winding up petition
In rare occasions – claims can be made to wind up the company. In these circumstances directors need to seek urgent advice to ensure that the claim is either defended or the winding up is dealt with in an orderly manner – and the director is as personally protected as much as possible following the insolvency order.
7. Breach of fiduciary duties & derivative claims
A director may be liable to a company for a breach of their fiduciary duties. We can assist any director facing claims, including shareholder claims under the terms of the Companies Act 2006 where separate legal procedures can be used to bring a separate (derivative) claim against a director.
Shareholder claims against directors – what you should do next
At Francis Wilks & Jones, we advise directors on internal disputes and in a majority of circumstances the problems are resolved by negotiation without the need to resort to legal proceedings.
One of the most astute appointments I have ever made.A company director
If there was ever a star rating for law firms, Francis Wilks & Jones would score five stars plus. Professional and pro-active, they were able to understand my problem quickly, provide expert advice, outline a solution and put it into place with a successful outcome. I should have gone to them sooner.A company director
Successfully defending three directors against director disqualification proceedings and stopping a claim from the liquidator
We were instructed by three directors of a company which had been placed into liquidation, The directors faced Disqualification proceedings in respect of certain pre-insolvency...