Shareholder disputes in companies where the shares are held on a 50/50 basis can be particularly challenging, often leading to deadlock and damaging the company's ability to function. Our expert team can help shareholders navigate the complexities of deadlock situations, find common ground, and help resolve difference. Call us today.

Our Approach

We understand that shareholder disputes can have serious implications for both the company and its owners. Our approach to resolving these issues is tailored to each unique situation and typically includes the following steps-

Mediation and negotiation

Our experienced dispute resolution team is highly experienced in bringing business owners together to try and find common ground and resolve the situation without formal court proceedings. 

  • this might involve one shareholder exiting and selling their shares and leaving the other to run the company moving forward.
  • or it could be the two business owners reconciling their differences and agreeing to work together moving forward.
  • or a restructuring of managerial responsibilities at the company.

Whatever the solution, our aim is always to reach a successful outcome without the need for further legal intervention.

Review of shareholder agreement

If there is a shareholder agreement in place, we will carefully review its terms as often, a shareholder deadlock scenario should be covered and a set course of action adopted to achieve a solution. It is important that these provisions are followed, especially if one side to the shareholder dispute is putting undue pressure on the other.

Valuation and buyout

In cases where the two shareholders simply cannot remain in business together, we can help one of the shareholders get proper value for his /her shares if the only option is a share sale and business exit. We can ensure fair market value is obtained for the departing shareholder.

Litigation and legal remedies

If a negotiated settlement simply isn’t possible, we can explore what legal remedies are available to you and pursue those to help protect your interests. These might include a just & equitable winding up of the company if the deadlock situation is simply irreconcilable.

Ensuring compliance with director duties

Quite often, we encounter a situation where one or both of the shareholders are also directors of the company. This can lead to difficulties running the company, especially if one director has more control over the finances (including management information and accounting records) than the other. We often see situations where one director prevents the other from accessing important financial and other company documentation.

We can help in these situations by making sure the other director complies with his/her fiduciary duties to act in a company’s interest and a majority of these were codified under the Companies Act 2006. This can often provide the breathing space needed to enable a more structured solution or exit to be negotiated.

Why choose Francis Wilks & Jones to help?

We can offer you the following

  • An experienced legal team specialising in shareholder disputes.
  • A proven track record of doing this work for over 20 years.
  • Strength in depth – we have a specialist team of shareholder dispute solicitors dedicated to this type of work.
  • Cost transparency – we will agree up front the cost of the work – and stick to it.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us guide you through the complex process of resolving shareholder deadlocks while safeguarding the interests of your company and its owners.

Francis Wilks & Jones were responsive, available at all times to deal with any of my queries and very reassuring. I would definitely recommend them to deal with proceedings brought on behalf of shareholders – they understood our practical needs.

A shareholder we helped bring unfair prejudice proceedings against a fellow shareholder who had been interfering with the management of the company and damaging its value

Key contacts

Andrew Carter

Andrew Carter


Maria Koureas-Jones

Maria Koureas-Jones


Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie


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