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Every business relationship, be it a partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation, starts out with great optimism and with little thought of what will happen if shareholder or partner relations change. Business owners rely upon being on the same page in how the business is being run, having the same goals and ambitions for the business, and having a basic level of trust between them.  With early intervention, the relationship may be saved through resolution of governance issues or other means.

The conflict between owners of a business occurs in a myriad of ways.

For example,

  • Conflict can occur as the founders become elderly and the next generation of management is ready to take over.
  • Conflict can occur as new opportunities present themselves and one or more owners do not wish to engage in new business risks.
  • Conflict can occur as one or more business owners come to feel that their contribution to the business outweighs the contributions of other owners.
  • Conflict can occur in the absence of transparency (e.g., failure to provide financials).

Often times, by the time partners or shareholders seek the assistance of legal counsel, decisions have already been made that spell the end of the business relationship. For example, controlling members of the organization may be refusing to distribute profits to minority owners or even refusing to make tax distributions—purposefully placing financial strain on minority owners.

Mr. Hill has extensive experience in dealing with difficult shareholders or partners and lending strength to those whose interests are being disregarded or harmed. The rights of shareholders and partners are protected under the Wyoming statutes. Further, these kind of controversies require knowledge of what is known as the common law of “business torts” such as fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, dilution of ownership interest, and business defamation.

Shareholders or partners whose interests are being harmed need a strong advocate who knows the law in this area and one who has experience with the kinds of tactics used in these situations.