When serious disputes arise among business partners or shareholders, especially those involved in closely-held or family companies and partnerships, a host of difficult issues must be addressed, often times immediately. Can a shareholder-employee be terminated or locked out? What if a partner or shareholder has been accused of or caught misappropriating company funds or assets? What happens if the business owners or directors are deadlocked, or simply cannot continue in business together? What steps can be taken to prevent a majority or disgruntled shareholder from abusing his power to the detriment of the minority shareholders or partners? Who has or should have access or control of the company’s books and records? Can the company force a departing shareholder to sell his shares to the company, or vice versa? How is the value of those shares determined? When is it the right time to dissolve or liquidate a business? These are just a few examples of the kinds of tough questions which require clear answers when business relationships are not working out the way they were intended. Emotions often run high when disputes like this arise, since livelihoods and personal relationships may be jeopardized. In some cases, the very survival of the company is at stake. Our litigators have broad experience in this arena and are standing by ready to take action to protect the rights of partners, shareholders, directors or the business entity itself in all types of shareholder and partnership disputes. Whether the situation requires immediate court intervention through appropriate restraining orders, or the simple opening of a dialogue intended to lead to a negotiated resolution, our goal is to help our clients reach their objectives, and to ensure a prompt and fair result. Our lawyers will also provide invaluable counseling to minimize the risk of future disputes, including through carefully drafted shareholder or partnership agreements, buy-sell agreements and succession planning.