Partnership Disputes

What is a Partnership Dispute?

A partnership is a collection of individuals carrying out a business. A dispute between individuals can be acrimonious and debilitating for the business.

If this happens to you, our priority is to protect your interests. It may be that you want to try to resolve the dispute; it may be that you want to leave / bring the partnership to an end; or it may be that you want to explore the possibility of expelling one or more other partners from the partnership.

Our starting point is to consider any partnership agreement that may exist, the terms of which will be crucial to resolving any dispute. In the vast majority of cases, however, no written agreement exists and this can create certain problems.

What if I don’t have a written partnership agreement?

A partnership which has no written agreement is known as a “partnership at will”. In other words, it exists only for as long as all the partners want it to exist. Accordingly, if one or more partners want to leave, the partnership must be dissolved.

This does not prevent others from forming a new partnership out of the ashes of the old one, but it does mean that the original partnership must come to an end.

Other issues with partnerships/What is the impact of bankruptcy of death on a partnership

Similarly, if a partner dies or is declared bankrupt, the partnership comes to an end automatically.
This can cause problems, particularly with regard to the partnership assets. A properly managed dissolution will allow for the business of the partnership to continue whilst key questions are considered and, if possible, resolved.

Resolving a partnership dispute

Serving a notice of dissolution on your partners (that is bringing the partnership to an end) should be the final step in the process, not the first.

Ultimately, the best course of action is to seek independent, specialist legal advice at an early stage to ensure that you have a clear strategy in place. We have wide experience in advising in relation to issues throughout, and representing clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings in these issues.

If you have a problem, or if you are simply looking for further information, our specialist team are always happy to have a discussion with you on a no-obligation basis.