Home / Expertise / Dispute Resolution / Director/Shareholder Disputes

Director/Shareholder Disputes

United Kingdom

Disagreements between or against stakeholders in a commercial organisation are often unavoidable. When they do arise, it can bring about a whole host of complex legal issues given the differing duties owed to, and by, each.

The CMS dispute resolution team has a wealth of experience advising parties (both corporate and individual) on all forms of shareholder and director disputes. Whether that dispute has arisen from the day-to-day management of the company, a transaction, or insolvency, the team has a notable track record securing practical, positive results.

Our client’s priorities and end goals are always at the forefront of our advice. Knowing when to resolve the matter delicately or drive it forward to achieve a purpose is absolutely crucial. Our commercial disputes lawyers will work closely with you to deliver the outcome that meets your objectives.

Our experience includes advising:

  • The former Non-executive directors of Petropavlovsk Plc in English High Court proceedings concerning allegations relating to director’s duties and shareholder activism.   
  • A former Uber executive in US proceedings relating to allegations of breach of confidence and fiduciary duties  by Vanguard Logistics Services (USA) Inc. 
  • Minority shareholders in the successful opposition of a multi-million unfair prejudice claim, including a successful challenge to interim orders, leading first instance and appeal judgments and dealing with conduct of the Petitioner in granting relief and bad leaver providions as penalty clauses.
  • A Major High Street leather goods manufacturer on a multi-million pound shareholder dispute involving unfair prejudice, breach of fiduciary duty allegations and threat of derivative action.
  • Owner founders in a successful unfair prejudice claim, including a successful application for interim and final relief to prevent disciplinary proceedings being used to trigger bad leaver provisions. (Judgment).
  • Cosalt plc in claims against former directors and shareholders of a subsidiary, including claims for defamation, damages for fraud, and misfeasance.
  • Owner founders in an unfair prejudice claim, including successfully opposing an application to dismiss the petition based upon an “O’Neill” offer. (Judgment).
  • A Defendant to an arbitration in the LCIA relating to a multi-million pound shareholder dispute.
  • Directors of an offshore technology group in response to £60M claims in relation to alleged breach of fiduciary duty and alienation of assets.
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"The team of lawyers have a good knowledge base and analytical legal approach. These lawyers are hands-on, approachable and always willing to extend support."

International Arbitration: Commercial Arbitration, Chambers UK, 2021

"A 21st century 24/7 powerhouse. Experienced team with all the skills necessary to deal with large-scale commercial litigation."

Commercial Litigation Premium, Legal 500 UK 2021

Ben Trust is an “excellent and imaginative lawyer” with a “breadth of experience in corporate governance and transactional disputes”.

Legal 500, 2021

Ben Trust "is the 'go to’ contact for director’s duties disputes”.

Legal 500

"Able to handle high value and complex litigation with a strong team who are efficient, disciplined and hard-working while also understanding the client’s commercial status."

Legal 500

"An “excellent negotiator”, he has "great intellectual acumen and ability to cut through complex data" "

Legal 500

"He is a strong and innovative practitioner."

Chambers & Partners, 2021

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