It starts with great intentions, but what if your business partner isn't so great?

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The dream of your own business resonates with many. You have a skill set, a little cash and think why not? Even better, you know someone else who has complimentary skills and also has a little cash. You can share the dream, spread the risk and each take shares in the new business.

All seems fantastic, right up until you realise that your business partner is making decisions without you, acting in their best interests and, maybe even, robbing you blind. 

These types of disputes are both common and difficult. They are emotional for the oppressed shareholder whose dreams are in pieces. Often, there is also a lot of money that is either missing or unaccounted for and a web of behaviour and obligations to unravel.

So, who can help? A consultant, a lawyer, an accountant or is it simply a case of finding a rock to climb under?

A multi-disciplinary approach to such matters is proving to be a practical and cost-effective method to achieving a resolution.

By incorporating the skills of commercial consultants, imbedded within both the business and the legal team, the financial and commercial aspects of these disputes can be efficiently assessed alongside the legal process. Furthermore, recent outcomes have demonstrated a greatly reduced spend in achieving a successful outcome.

This combined commercial and legal approach allows the advice team to evaluate the business and financial considerations as part of the process, not as a separate piece of static advice which is relevant only at a fixed point in time, but in a much more fluid and dynamic manner, as the matter progresses.

In addition, the ability to negotiate or mediate with both legal and commercial involvement ensures that the financial and operational impact of any proposed settlement can be assessed alongside the legal requirements to deliver the most appropriate business solution, for business problem.

Penny Brereton