The structure of your business will be key to its success as you seek to grow it and commercial collaboration with joint venturers or shareholders will need to recognise each party's commercial intent.

It is necessary to have a shareholders' or joint venture agreement in order to set out the terms of the legal relationship between the shareholders or the joint venturers and, where relevant, the company, on matters which are not adequately dealt with by company law.

We are highly experienced in giving clients the very best advice in relation to the many and varied elements of such arrangements, which will include:

  • investor protection provisions to set down principles of business conduct in private equity arrangements
  • minority protection to give minority shareholders rights to protect them from abuse by, or to put them on an equal footing with, the majority
  • quasi-partnership arrangements to cover key terms for the conduct of the business, such as required levels of voting or veto on key issues, and issues arising on succession, sale, death or forced retirement
  • an agreed business plan, shareholder finance, guarantee obligations and sharing of profits and returns, whether by loan repayment, salary/bonus or dividend
  • non-solicitation and non-compete covenants to the company and other shareholders both during the life of the agreement and after exit.

Whatever the setting, we can explain the options available to you and advise on the best route for your business.