Shareholder Rights, Relations and Dispute Resolution

  • Holland & Knight’s Shareholder Rights, Relations and Dispute Resolution Group counsels businesses, corporations, partnerships and other organizations on anticipating and minimizing the complex conflicts that arise from the ownership of closely held businesses.
  • Our experienced, multidisciplinary attorney team works with clients to prevent and, when necessary, navigate the disputes that frequently develop between majority and minority owners and their businesses.
  • When disputes are unavoidable, we guide our clients to resolution through mediation, arbitration or litigation, and we work efficiently to ensure such disputes do not impede the daily operations and overall success of the organization.
  • Visit Holland & Knight's Shareholder Rights Blog for timely updates on data privacy and data security issues.

The Shareholder Rights, Relations and Dispute Resolution Group is committed to resolving shareholder rights disputes and protecting client interests in closely held, nonpublicly traded enterprises. Our firm’s geographic reach, size, and collective breadth and depth of experience enable us to successfully steer our clients through the intricate and often emotional conflicts that affect closely held businesses and their owners. And frequently, our focus on planning helps prevent or minimize such conflicts before they arise.

Counsel for All Ownership Structures

Our Shareholder Rights, Relations and Dispute Resolution Group handles varying issues involving shareholders, partners, members or venturers (owners). Holland & Knight attorneys are well-versed in the common characteristics guiding ownership structures that lend themselves to conflicts among investors and shareholders, including:

  • disputes arising from the basic nature of majority-minority shareholder relationships, in which the majority controls the enterprise and works to protect interests that clash with that of the minority
  • conflicts stemming from the minority feeling excluded from the benefits of its stake in the enterprise
  • conflicts among parties due to the lack of ready market to sell the interest, an attribute that has profound consequences for owners, including complicating decisions about the use of resources and the cash flow of the business

The potential for conflict and stalemate exists in all ownership structures, and our attorneys are poised to handle such disagreements in business ventures with majority-minority ownership structures as well as 50/50 ownership structures.

Our team works swiftly to resolve disputes so that they do not interrupt the daily operations of the organization and impede its overall success.

Our Services

  • resolving, prosecuting and defending claims involving dissenters’ rights, oppression or unfair behavior, breaches of shareholder agreements and fiduciary duty, removal of directors and access to books and records
  • counseling owners in avoiding the appearance of oppressive or unfair behavior
  • negotiating and providing guidance on buy-sell agreements, voting trust agreements, and shareholder freeze-out or squeeze-out claims
  • planning and effecting ownership transfer or succession
  • negotiating and arranging mergers or reorganizations
  • adjusting governance structures
  • counseling clients regarding executive compensation
  • obtaining the fair value of clients’ ownership stakes
  • resolving stalemate issue

Guiding Your Unique Interests

Our Shareholder Rights, Relations and Dispute Resolution Group harnesses our experiences across legal practice areas and allows us to tailor resolutions to each client’s unique needs. We advise partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations and their owners. Our primary goal is to provide clients with the foresight they need to address the tensions inherent between majority and minority shareholders and their businesses. While the types of conflicts may be foreseeable, every dispute and resolution requires a keen understanding of each client’s unique situation.

Skilled Attorneys Dedicated to Resolving Conflicts

Our attorneys’ shared insight helps effect resolutions before costly litigation results. Where mediation, arbitration or litigation is unavoidable, our experienced team is dedicated to efficiently and effectively guiding our clients to resolution.