Unlike the company’s articles of association, a shareholders’ agreement is a private document, enforceable in the same way as any other contract and therefore is not available to the public via Companies House. A shareholders’ agreement can be entered into between all, or a selection of, shareholders in a company.
Such agreements can regulate the relationship between the shareholders, the management of the company, ownership of the shares and the protection of the shareholders. A shareholders’ agreement is principally useful where the directors and shareholders of a limited company are the same people, as company law assumes that all companies are run by a board of directors who are not necessarily shareholders of the company.
Often businesses are set up without protecting their shareholding or particular interests without an agreement or a contract. Due to the likelihood disagreements it is prudent not to leave matters to chance. As such our clients are advised at the outset to provide for potential disputes within a shareholders’ agreement. Shareholders’ agreements can contain provisions that pre-empt disagreements and set out appropriate ways for addressing disputes quickly and cost effectively.
Our Commercial Barristers at Mercantile Barristers advise on all forms of shareholders’ agreements arising out of all business transactions from investment to Joint Ventures (“JVs”) and from start-ups to mergers. We are also able to draft shareholder agreements with a commercial eye and business acumen which are fundamental necessities to protecting clients’ interests.
Matters usually dealt within shareholders’ agreement range from: policies on dividends and transfer of shares; disputes between shareholders; protection of minority shareholders; restrictive covenants; rights and liabilities upon a company sale; shareholders’ rights to appoint directors; transfer of shares and share valuation thereafter; and many more.
Shareholders agreements can be flexible and cover a plethora of matters which are of relevance to your business. No two companies are the same and it is therefore important, if the agreement is to be of value, to have an agreement which is tailored to meet the particular concerns and structure of each company. Our barristers will understand your company’s specific requirements so your agreement is drafted to suit you.
Our approach to legal practice is always to articulate creative and value-adding solutions for clients whilst delivering timely, efficient and affordable professional services. All clients conduct their affairs within a legal context and Mercantile Barristers’ role is to advise on the conduct of their transactions and affairs in ways that avoid conflict and disputes.
However, should a dispute become inevitable, then our prior engagement would have assured that all the necessary precautions have been taken and mitigating steps adopted. Thus, clients will begin any dispute resolution in a strong position to achieve their desired objectives.
Whether by adjudication, arbitration, litigation, members at Mercantile Barristers will adopt a firm, swift and decisive approach to achieve the best possible results for clients within the shortest possible time. We recognise that no two cases are the same, so we will adapt our style to suit the occasion.