Shareholder Disputes

Shareholder Disputes

hareholder disputes, director disputes and partnership disputes can be both disruptive and costly. It is therefore important to get to the heart of the dispute quickly with a view to resolving it. The position of a particular shareholder, director or partner will be greatly improved, and provide the best chance of preserving the value of the shareholder’s interest.

Shareholder disputes are different to many other disputes because often the parties have worked closely together for some time. As lawyers, we seek to approach these matters with a degree of sensitivity.

Examples of disputes between shareholders and directors include:

  • breach of director’s duties
  • breach of shareholder agreements
  • dividend withholding
  • management of the company
  • withholding of dividends
  • failure to produce records
  • exclusion from company meetings
  • disparities between salaries and profit dividends
  • fraud
  • oppressive activity

Mediation is a useful tool in assisting the matter to resolve quickly and the possibility should always be explored. This is often where lawyers can be useful in guiding the parties through the legal complexity of the legal issues in a conciliatory way.


Sometimes urgent action is required. For example, a letter requiring urgent production of documents may be the best approach. An urgent application to the Court may be required to prevent conduct by the party, such as the dissipation of assets.

In the event that litigation is necessary, our lawyers are savvy and experienced in litigation relating to disputes relating to shareholders, directors and partners of various types of businesses – whether it be in prosecution or protection of your rights.

Either way, you can be assured that your case will be handled with high degree of organisation, diligence and finesse when we negotiate your behalf.

Just of some types of the types of claims include:

  • oppression applications
  • appointment of receiver / manager
  • proceedings relation to other types of disputes
Shareholder Matters – In More Detail

Section 232 of the Corporations Law states that a court may make an order if there is evidence of conduct (including proposed conduct) or omission, or a resolution (including a proposed resolution) is:

  • contrary to the interests of the members as a whole; or
  • oppressive to, unfairly prejudicial to, or unfairly discriminatory against, a member or members whether in that capacity or in any other capacity.

Orders that can be made by a Court include:

  • that the company be wound up;
  • that the company’s existing constitution be modified or repealed;
  • regulating the conduct of the company’s affairs in the future;
  • for the purchase of any shares by any member or person to whom a share in the company has been transmitted by will or by operation of law;
  • for the purchase of shares with an appropriate reduction of the company’s share capital;
  • for the company to institute, prosecute, defend or discontinue specified proceedings;
  • authorising a member, or a person to whom a share in the company has been transmitted by will or by operation of law, to institute, prosecute, defend or discontinue specified proceedings in the name and on behalf of the company;
  • appointing a receiver or a receiver and manager of any or all of the company’s property;
  • restraining a person from engaging in specified conduct or from doing a specified act;
  • requiring a person to do a specified act.
We Can Help – Contact Us Today

To discuss your matter further please call us on 1300 907 335 or alternatively fill out the contact form on this page and we will respond to your promptly.

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