Disputes between shareholders in private companies arise for many reasons. Shareholders may feel, for example, that they have insufficient influence over the company’s management. There may be breaches of shareholders’ agreements or shareholder-directors may be forced off the company’s board and their shares acquired under the terms of its Articles of Association.
In addition to our independent forensic accounting expertise in valuing shares transferred as a result of a dispute between shareholders, we are instructed to consider actions by controlling shareholders which may reduce a company’s profits and hence the value of a shareholder’s stake in the company. In such circumstances, we may need to investigate and adjust for any “funny business” and it may be necessary to adjust for legitimate but “one-off” items which are not relevant to a consideration of the company’s maintainable profits.
Common issues which cause disputes between partners include the provision of assets by the partners to the partnership, the division of profits between partners, changes in the composition of the partnership and valuations of partnerships. In these situations, we may be instructed to assess whether partners’ capital and current accounts have been computed on an accurate and consistent basis. We also assist in defining the “real” issues in a dispute and provide independent advice to help those involved to resolve the situation.