Shareholder Disputes & Director Disputes

Our expert team includes 3 Accredited Specialists in Commercial Litigation, making us one of the most recognised Commercial Litigation teams in
New South Wales.

We love solving complex legal problems. If you have a Shareholder or Director dispute, we can help you find a solution.

Our Commercial Dispute Lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in a wide variety of disputes and have a reputation for obtaining exceptional results for our clients.

Our Lawyers are experienced and diligent. We understand that litigation can be costly, time consuming and stressful, and that most clients want to focus their attention on operating and growing their businesses.

Shareholder Disputes

Shareholder Disputes and Director Disputes can arise in any business and frequently do.

While the disruption caused by Shareholder Disputes and Director Disputes can be stressful and costly for the people involved, it is the impact on profit and cash flow and destruction of business value that is often the most serious consequence.

To avoid such disruption, and maintain business and share value, all Shareholders and Directors should have some understanding of the circumstances in which Shareholder Disputes and Director Disputes commonly arise and how they can be resolved.

It is important to recognise that not every dispute between Shareholders or Directors has legal consequences. To have legal consequences, there must be a breach of a legal obligation by a shareholder or director.

Shareholder Disputes and Director Disputes are often about:

  • the way the profits or assets of a company are being or will be distributed,
  • the amount each director or shareholder is receiving from the company, whether as salary or dividends,
  • the strategic direction of the company,
  • the commerciality of a transaction between the company and a related entity of a shareholder or director,
  • the terms upon which a director or shareholder are to exit the company, and
  • the conduct of the company’s affairs in a manner that is oppressive or prejudicial to, or contrary to the interests of, one or more shareholders.

Commercial Litigation Lawyers Sydney and Newcastle

Our Commercial Litigation Lawyers have particular experience and expertise in assisting clients with Shareholder disputes along with associated matters including:
  • Business Disputes and Breach of Contract Claims

  • Shareholder Disputes, Director Disputes and Partnership Disputes

  • Breaches of Directors’ Duties

  • Shareholder Oppression Claims

  • Misleading & Deceptive Conduct and Unconscionable Conduct Claims

  • Franchise Disputes

  • Enforcement of Consumer Guarantees

  • Loans & Enforcement of Securities

It has been a great pleasure working with you as an ultimate professional on this matter.

“There are very few that can measure up to your professionalism. I have worked with many ….  you “stand above the rest” in your profession.”

Geoff Page
Chartered & Forensic Accountant, Leonard & Page Pty Limited

I have no hesitation in recommending Roberts Crosbie Mortensen.

“Sam Roberts is sharp and confident and has been adept at understanding the issues pertinent to my matter in relation to Equity Law and Contract Law.  His talent expedited the outcome of my matter.  He is energetic, proactive, professional, ethical, discrete and motivated.  I continue to appreciate having him in my corner.”

David Paine

We are absolutely thrilled with the result Roberts Crosbie Mortensen achieved for our company!

“After a long battle over a very large sum of money, Ned achieved the best possible outcome for us. He was incredibly professional, while at the same time extremely patient and easy to talk to. We could not fault our experience with Roberts Crosbie Mortensen and would recommend them without hesitation.”

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Resolving Shareholder Disputes & Director Disputes

Problems arising from disputes between companies, directors and shareholders or business partners can have a significant impact on a business’ profitability and value, particularly if Court proceedings ensue. When problems arise, early advice and intervention is critical to reduce the impact on business value and solvency.

The right legal team can help you put the pieces together to understand your legal rights and options for resolving problems.

Our Tony Peterson completed his Specialist Accreditation with a sub speciality in Corporate Litigation. Shareholder Disputes & Director Disputes is a key focus of his practice.

See Tony’s article ‘How to Resolve Shareholder Disputes and Director Disputes’.

Shareholder Remedies

The remedies that may be available to a Shareholder aggrieved by action taken by a Director or group of Directors on behalf of a company include:

  • applying to the Court for an order that the company be wound up on just and equitable grounds, for example, where there is a deadlock and a small company is unable to operate effectively because the shareholders are equally divided and decisions cannot be made,
  • bringing an action for relief based on oppression against a minority shareholder,
  • bringing a derivative action for breach of a Directors’ Duty (with leave of the Court),
  • enforcing the terms of a Shareholders Agreement,
  • seeking an injunction to prevent a contravention of the Corporations Law,
  • taking steps to access and inspect Financial Reports and other books and records under the Corporations Act or company Constitution, and
  • convening a meeting of Shareholders and seeking to pass a Member Resolution including for the removal and/or appointment of a Director.

Shareholder Oppression & Minority Shareholder Oppression

A Shareholder may apply to the Court for a range of statutory remedies where the conduct of a company’s affairs or an actual or proposed act or omission or the company, or resolution of members, is:

  • contrary to the interests of the members as a whole, or
  • oppressive to, unfairly prejudicial to, or unfairly, discriminatory against, a Shareholder in any capacity.

Where Shareholder Oppression is established the Court has a broad range of remedies available including orders that:

  • the company be wound up,
  • the purchase of any Shares by other Shareholders or the company at a price which the Court determines is fair,
  • the company’s Constitution be modified or repealed,
  • regulate the conduct of the company’s affairs in future, or
  • the company institute, prosecute, defend or discontinue specified Court proceedings or an order authorising Shareholder to do so in the name of and on behalf of the company.


More Accredited Specialists in Commercial Litigation than 99% of law firms in NSW.

Our Shareholder Dispute Lawyers for Sydney and Newcastle

Related Articles

Key Practice Contact
Principal Solicitor
Accredited Specialist (Commercial Litigation)