Seek Competent Legal Expertise
Disputes between shareholders can often be highly complex and sensitive in nature. Knowledgeable lawyers that specialize in commercial matters can help the parties resolve issues within the framework of Australian corporate law. Shareholders may find it particularly difficult to reach agreements regarding evaluation, finance and other related issues. A shareholder is an individual who owns stock in the company. Shareholder disputes often involve allegations of breach of fiduciary duty or fraud.
In simple words, fiduciary duties refer to fairness and loyalty in commercial practices. Directors and other employees of a company are expected by law to put the interests of the business first. Breach of fiduciary duty occurs when an individual acts against the best interests of the company or business or performs an action that is perceived as conflict of interest.
A breach of fiduciary duty could be indicated by the following points:
- Intentional, deceitful or wilful failure to discharge professional duties
- Failure to make independent or good decisions for the business
- Dishonest actions or committing an offence by misusing your power for yourself or for third parties
- Deliberate failure to prevent the company from trading in a dishonest manner
- Engage in conducts that are geared towards personal gain and work against the best interests of the business
Other breaches of contract could include selling of your shares to a rival or competitor and rights of minority shareholders. Minority shareholders are often frozen out of the decision-making process by majority shareholders who may not always work towards the best interests of the company.
These are complicated issues and must be proven in a court of law in order to be able to request compensation etc. As the complainant, you will need to prove that an agreement of duty existed between you and fiduciary and that the agreement was violated. You will also need to prove that the fiduciary acted against the best interests of the company etc. In addition, you will need to ask for what you feel is a rightful claim from the fiduciary. A reliable lawyer can help you navigate complex legal issues and help you understand your position clearly. He or she will put forward their best efforts to help you protect your interests and obtain compensation.
Legalese can often involve technical phraseology and intricate jargon which is difficult to comprehend for people who do not belong to the legal profession. In addition, a qualified lawyer can also you help when it comes to other forms of dispute resolution such as mediation.
Depending on the nature of the complaint, the complainant may also submit an application to the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) for a disqualification order against the individual. The order will prevent him or her from holding directorial positions with other companies.