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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.
The first step to instructing a barrister on your behalf is to provide us with some background information to your case. Our clerks are massively experienced and can help point you in the right direction.