Minority Shareholder Claims/Shareholder Rights
While majority interests in a company have a greater voting power and authority in decision-making, it is critical that the rights of the minority shareholders are not violated or suppressed and that they are not blocked from having any voice in decisions, where appropriate. In addition, majority shareholders need to be careful not to use their power to make decisions, which unfairly impact the shareholders economically, while benefiting the majority. This may come up in raising salaries or benefits for the majority shareholders, while reducing money leftover at the end of the fiscal year to pay out profits to the minority shareholder.
On the other hand, disgruntled minority shareholders can bring claims of oppression that may be unfounded with an eye toward compelling them to be bought out at a premium. Whatever the basis for the dispute, these claims are nonetheless detrimental to a company’s operation, reputation, and how vendors, customers, and potential investors view the health of the company.
At Chenoweth Law Group in Portland, our lawyers provide premier legal representation in shareholder claims and other commercial disputes for businesses throughout Oregon, Washington, and California.
Strategies for Resolving Minority Shareholder Oppression Claims
CLG attorneys represent both minority and majority shareholders in minority shareholder disputes. Oppression and squeeze-outs can range widely from persistent unfairness and unreasonable expectations to physically blocking the minority shareholder from the premises. Our firm produces solutions to all forms of minority shareholder oppression matters, including:
- Enforcement of shareholder rights agreements
- Dilution of ownership
- Self-dealing and conflict of interest claims
- Usurpation of corporate opportunities by controlling shareholders
- Forced sale of stock
- Unfavorable dividend policies, including failure to pay dividends
- Breach of fiduciary duty claims
- Claims of withholding information and preventing inspection of company information
- Negotiation of buy-sell agreements
- Claims of fraud and misrepresentation
We understand the importance of resolving these disputes as quickly as possible for the good of the company and to avoid diverting valuable resources to shareholder disputes.
Our firm is experienced in delivering efficient resolutions to these conflicts and enforcing the rights of our clients through strong negotiation. Should negotiation fail, we are prepared to take the matter to litigation to ensure our clients’ interests are protected.