The ownership of shares in companies has increased over the years. Businesses have found it difficult to raise finance through the traditional routes and have offered shares in return for investment.
Similarly more and more companies are offering employees options to purchase shares or giving shares to employees as bonuses. As a result more people are acquiring shareholdings in a whole range of companies.
We advise shareholders in respect of their rights, whether they be shareholders in small private limited companies or shareholders in large public limited companies. These rights can vary depending upon the shares held.
We also advise on shareholder agreements and shareholder disputes
A shareholders agreement is a very good way to ensure each shareholder is aware of their duties and obligations to fellow shareholders and for setting out clear criteria in the event of certain situations. Matters usually dealt with in such agreements include setting out a clear process for the transfer or issue of shares, any right for shareholders to nominate directors, any restrictions on the directors authority and any restrictions on outgoing shareholders when they sell their shares.
We have experience of advising shareholders involved in all kinds of disputes; whether this be with other shareholders or the directors of the company. Under the Companies Act 2006 shareholders have the right not to be subject to conduct which is unfairly prejudicial. A whole range of conduct may be unfairly prejudicial and we advise shareholders as to their rights in such a situation and how best to achieve their desired outcome.