Shareholder disputes

Shareholder disputes have been described as corporate divorce. Withers provides integrated employment and litigation advice, enabling shareholders to identify and adopt the best strategy.

The most cost-effective solution is likely to involve persuading all parties to consent to a shareholders’ agreement or settlement. But we will not hesitate to bring cases to trial where this is in the best interests of our client.

In the leading case of Croly v Good, we acted for the successful petitioner. Our client, Mr. Croly, worked for and owned shares in a UK manufacturing business, in what we argued was a quasi-partnership. When a disagreement arose over the level of Mr. Good’s cash drawings, he expelled Mr. Croly from the company, refusing repeatedly to buy out his shares. When the case came to court, the judge found that our client’s exclusion from the company was unfair. Although the business was by now in administration, he made an order for Mr. Good to purchase Mr. Croly’s shares at the far higher value they would have had at the time of his exclusion.

We act for a broad range of clients, including US and UK investors with interests in British, US or foreign-incorporated companies, and investors from other countries and regions including India, Russia and CIS, Indonesia, Europe and the Middle East.

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Family office workshop in conjunction with the Association Francaise du Family Office


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Leading firm for employment (2015-2017)

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My relationship with Withers started in 2015 and has directly involved dealing with their employment, corporate and family law teams. My counsel excelled in delivering a truly personable approach; taking the time to understand me, my story and values: providing exactly the right advice, guidance and support to fit my needs. Their knowledge in their discipline and that provided by colleagues on interrelated issues, was always accurate, up-to-date, detailed and proactively provided, often pre-empting any issues long before they developed and ensured my advice was complete and all possibilities covered. It’s in part, because of these amazing people that I was able to move forward through a very challenging time.

Sean McInnes, Veterinary Surgeon & Life Coach

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How the team can help

Track record

Croly v Good

In the leading case of Croly v Good, we acted for the successful petitioner - a minority shareholder in a quasi-partnership. Due to the conduct of the majority shareholder, he was ordered to purchase our client's shares valued at the date of his exclusion rather than at the date of trial, resulting in a much higher share valuation for our client.

CEO of an international pharmaceutical company

We acted for the CEO of an international and award winning pharmaceutical company in relation to her acrimonious exit. As a co-founder of the business and a minority shareholder, we negotiated the terms of her multi-million pound settlement, working closing with one of the top four accountants on valuation issues.

Shareholder’s dispute in Cyprus

We are coordinating litigation arising from a shareholder’s dispute in Cyprus, Anguilla and Belize on behalf of Russian shareholders in a global financial business.

Cross border minority shareholder dispute

We are acting for the majority shareholders in a long-running family dispute regarding the misconduct of a minority shareholder. Proceedings have been issued in various jurisdictions including the UK, Guernsey and the BVI.

Suit No. 629 of 2009/Q:

Acting for the beneficial owner of shares in a group of companies against the companies and their directors and obtaining an anton pillar order.

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