Shareholder and partnership disputes

It’s great to be in business with friends and family when things are going well but if a falling-out happens, trying to agree the terms of the business “divorce” can be very testing. At Moore Kingston Smith, we can assist you in valuing the business and any relevant shareholdings. We can also carry out an investigation if foul play is suspected.

If one or more shareholders is seeking an exit from the business, we can provide a valuation of the business and the relevant shareholding. We can also provide calculations on the tax implications of the share sale or any cash extraction. We will be guided by the shareholder or partnership agreement if this dictates a specific methodology or, alternatively, we will apply the appropriate valuation methodologies to arrive at a value.

If the dispute has arisen due to suspected foul play, we can investigate the alleged financial irregularity and produce a report for your legal representatives or your board.

We have been instructed to value shareholdings in a wide range of industries, including technology, manufacturing, professional services/consultancy, retail, healthcare, marketing services, property and real estate, construction, media, education, shipping and marine and betting and gaming.

Our reports can be used as an internal tool for negotiation purposes, or as part of a legal process where our reports will be compliant with the relevant court procedure rules. Our experts can provide assistance at any alternative dispute resolution process, such as mediation or arbitration, or provide evidence in a court setting if required. Our experts pride themselves on reports that are clear and concise, and in assisting you to resolve the issue as efficiently as possible.

Case study: dispute over value of minority shareholding
We were instructed by a claimant in a shareholder dispute over the value of his minority shareholding in an estate agent and lettings business with offices in the North of England. The work undertaken involved a detailed financial review of the companies and their subsidiaries, and an assessment of the value of each, in order to arrive at a valuation for his minority shareholding. As part of the valuation exercise, we were required to have a detailed understanding of the companies and their interactions with each other and the environment in which they operate.

Case study: shareholder dispute arising from alleged unauthorised and irregular transactions
We were instructed on a party-appointed basis in a shareholder dispute, where one party alleged the other had carried out unauthorised and irregular transactions resulting in significant losses suffered by the company. Work involved detailed investigation of the company’s records, examination of invoices raised, examination of the financial statements and analysis of loans and other liabilities, to evaluate the losses allegedly suffered by the company and to assess the value of the company as a consequence of the defendant’s conduct.