Shareholder agreements are a means of addressing pivotal events and contingencies before they happen. In fact, covering what rights and limitations apply in the event of a shareholder's death, disability, competition, improper behavior, or the loss of shares in a divorce is a key component of many such agreements. They are also instrumental for governing disputes arising out of a "business divorce" and often for maintaining continuity when changes in ownership and control occur.
In our experience at Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, we've learned a simple truth:
Wherever financial interests are shared, there is potential for serious conflict.
Properly drafted, comprehensive shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, or regulation is essential for defining many rights of both majority and minority shareholders within a corporate structure. Defining your rights helps protect your investment. It also prevents or limits disputes by making terms and expectations as clear as possible. In today's legal landscape, shareholder agreements are essential for minority owners of closely held businesses. The Texas Supreme Court has ruled in Ritchie v. Rupe that shareholders may not sue for shareholder oppression, potentially leaving them without a remedy. A shareholder agreement can help shareholders prevent and resolve disputes effectively-what you need is an experienced lawyer to provide the way.
To request a confidential consultation, simply call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online.
An extremely wide range of operational matters and events can be addressed in a shareholder agreement that complies with Texas laws. Contracts may incorporate or reference buy-sell agreements, control agreements, management agreements, duties and obligations, voting rights, authority to act, and other provisions. Also covered under shareholder agreements, these contracts and their provisions can be the final word on when, and under what circumstances, a shareholder can sell his or her shares or whether he or she can compete. We are dedicated to providing services that meet specific client needs and reflect a business entity's future prospects as well as its current state. We are diligent, but value-conscious and opposed to "over-lawyering" that delivers little or no tangible value.
This approach makes our firm an optimal choice for concerns involving:
This is by no means a complete list of issues that can be covered in a shareholder agreement. Ultimately, your greatest benefit may come from discussing contingencies and options you've not yet thought of with our firm.
A glaring question remains:
What happens if a partner or shareholder violates the terms of an agreement in force?
We are proven litigators, as well as attorneys versed in transactional and contract development matters. You can count on us for in-depth analysis of your rights and all paths to resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and the effective prosecution or defense of your case in court. Texas Supreme Court decisions have reinforced the importance of shareholder agreements, and we adamantly agree. In essence, our courts consistently direct business partners and shareholders to establish effective self-governance and guidelines for settling disputes.
Accurately predicting specific problems and disputes that will arise from your business dealings may be impossible. Protecting your interests through a shareholder agreement is a sound legal move and well within reach. When shareholder rights are properly documented, conflict can often be contained and resolved in a cost-effective way that helps prevent business disruption or lost value. Our cohesive legal team serves clients across a broad spectrum of industries, pursuits, and corporate structures throughout Texas and the U.S. We are exceptionally equipped to address an individual's specific, serious concerns-or to guide partners and shareholders through every step in the process of establishing, modifying, or challenging a corporate contract.
We take great satisfaction in helping clients take the steps necessary to achieve and maintain financial success. Providing full-service counsel to startups and existing businesses going through transitions is a major part of that effort, and it has led to many long-lasting, mutually-beneficial client relationships. To discuss how we can help you protect your financial stake in a business or resolve a dispute, call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online.