Top ten things to know about shareholder disputes

26 January, 2015

Here is my list of the top ten things I have learnt about shareholders disputes over the last few years:


1.  they are very expensive to take all the way to trial


2.  mediation is a quick and effective way to avoid or end litigation


3.  if your opponent (either client or lawyer) is barking mad then the best mediator in the business is not going to be able to get the parties to a settlement


4.  litigation is often a war of attrition which is as much about the time involved as it is about the money


5.  in order to win a shareholders dispute by means of litigation you are going to need to invest a lot of time as well as money (see 4. above)


6.  litigation of this type is a team effort with the client, solicitor and counsel all equally important.  If there is a weak link in this chain then the chances of success plummet


7.  there are many elephant traps for the unwary litigator.  One of the arts of the successful litigator is to turn the signposts round so that the opponent falls into one


8.  a settlement you can afford, however painful, is better than a loss you cannot afford.  The pain will go


9.  don’t be afraid of putting a reasonable offer on the table just because the other side appear to be completely unreasonable in their demands.   Nine times out of ten the other side are playing a tactical game and will respond to a sensible proposal


10.  be driven by your head not your heart.  Your solicitor may challenge you in this respect and this just means they are doing their job properly



Reviewed in 2015