Partnership Disputes banner

We value...problem solving

Partnership Disputes Solicitors

While many commercial partnerships run smoothly without problems, there is a possibility for disputes to arise where partners have different outlooks on certain aspects concerning the business. A dispute can impact many areas of both parties’ lives, including their reputation, finances, mental health and more.

Resolving such matters immediately is paramount. Where disputes are left unresolved, it can escalate into more severe issues that can be costly, stressful and damaging to the business and relationship between business partners.

It is always recommended that, if you are involved in a partnership dispute, you seek legal guidance from a specialist partnership disputes solicitor. Doing this can help to quickly resolve matters and prevent them from escalating further.

Our partnership disputes solicitors can deliver effective advice and guidance to quickly resolve matters and determine how future issues can be side-stepped.

Should you choose to work with us at Stephen Rimmer, our solicitors will take the time to fully understand your situation and provide appropriate options to resolve the dispute in the best way possible, whilst always aiming to avoid conflict or keep it to a minimum.

When we work with you, we will always approach disputes first with alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, including private negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Doing this means we can usually avoid stressful and contentious court proceedings, which can be timely and costly.

However, where court proceedings are necessary, our partnership disputes solicitors have a strong track record for success and will tirelessly fight your corner.

How we can help with partnership advice

Our solicitors have an in-depth understanding of the legalities that come with commercial businesses, and the risks partnership disputes can impose on each party involved and the future of the business.

Our Eastbourne partnership disputes solicitors can advise on the following:

  • Rights and responsibilities of partners
  • Statutory duty breaches
  • Fiduciary duty breaches
  • Partnership agreement terms breaches
  • Interpretation of partnership agreement breaches
  • Enforceability of restrictive covenants
  • Asset and property disputes
  • Governance breaches
  • Share of profit & losses breaches
  • Partner liability
  • Partner misconduct
  • Insolvency issues
  • Partner suspension, removal, or expulsion
  • Leaving a partnership
  • Retiring from a partnership
  • Discrimination
  • Partnership fraud
  • Winding up or dissolution of the partnership

Consult our partnership disputes solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

For clear, expert partnership disputes advice, please contact a member of our employment law team for a no obligation discussion:

For more information in respect of our services, see employment law for employers.

Partnership disputes FAQs

What is a partnership?

A business partnership is where two or more parties create a business together and they are personally responsible for the business’s assets and liabilities. Setting up a partnership is in many ways simpler than starting a company, but it does mean the partners  take on the risk of any debts or losses for which they will be personally liable.

What is a partnership agreement?

Where you wish to enter a business partnership, it is essential to have a partnership agreement in place as disputes can, unfortunately, happen in the future where partners’ views do not align. However, it is not legally required to have an agreement in place.

The voluntary partnership agreement is a legally binding document that will set out each party’s legal obligations, how profits are shared, a conflict policy and other important matters which can assist in preventing disputes and provide a framework for resolving any disagreements.

What happens if there is no partnership agreement in disputes between partners?

It is never recommended to pursue a partnership without a properly drafted agreement in place, especially where business involvements are not equal. Despite this, there are things that can be done to oversee this, although either or both of the parties may not be satisfied with the process.

Where business partners do not have a partnership agreement in place, issues will either be resolved through negotiations made by alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods or via court proceedings which will abide by The Partnership Act 1890.

What does the Partnership Act 1890 state?

The Partnership Act 1890 is now quite an old piece of legislation, with some considering it to be out of date and in need of reform. However, it does still apply to modern partnerships.

The Partnership Act 1890, by default, assumes the following:

  • That all profits and losses are to be shared equally between partners
  • That all partners equally contributed and own the assets
  • That all partners are equally responsible for debts accrued by the partnership
  • That all partners owe each other fiduciary duties

A major issue with the Act is that not all capital shares are equal, in addition to sometimes unequal business duties, decision making, and other important aspects of a business partnership.

Can a business partner force you out?

If you find yourself in a position where your business partner is attempting to buy you out of the partnership, you can be rest assured that this isn’t possible to do unless it states so in your partnership agreement.

We recognise that many business partnerships, especially small businesses, do not have agreements in place, and therefore, a matter such as a partner attempting to buy you out will automatically be resolved under The Partnership Act 1890. The Act does not allow business partners to be forced out of the partnerships.

If a business partner no longer wants their partner to be a part of the business, they can instead serve a notice of dissolution. The same applies where a partner wants to leave a business that does not have a partnership agreement in place. They cannot just retire or leave the partnership without the other’s agreement and would need to dissolve the partnership.

How can you resolve a partnership dispute?

There are many reasons as to why a partnership dispute might occur, but where they do, it’s incredibly important to try to resolve partnership disputes as promptly as possible to prevent further escalating and damaging consequences.

In most cases, it will be best to initially attempt to resolve a partnership dispute in private, but this is not always possible to do. Therefore, approaching a specialist partnership dispute solicitor for advice and guidance is highly suggested. If the issues cannot be resolved privately, then an ADR method can be attempted, such as mediation or arbitration.

Unfortunately, ADR approaches do not necessarily resolve all partnership dispute issues and, for this reason, court litigation may need to be used where a judge will listen to the arguments set out by each party and their solicitors and make a legally binding decision based on the evidence and facts provided.

Our partnership advice pricing

We understand that legal services can often be costly on top of an already expensive and stressful situation. For this reason, we offer a selection of competitive pricing options that reflects our commitment and level of legal knowledge.

It might be possible for us to offer fixed fees in certain cases, where the circumstances are more straightforward to resolve. This type of fee provides you with a set cost from the start, and if, for any reason, additional fees are required to continue with your case, we will fully inform you prior to carrying out the work.

Where it is not possible to offer a fixed fee price for our services, we will clearly notify you of the expected solicitor’s hourly rate, and the estimated time it will take to resolve your dispute. Our hourly rates will depend on the level of expertise and qualifications that the required solicitor has.

Speak to our partnership disputes solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team advises clients all across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To find out how we can help with partnership disputes advice, please contact our expert team now:

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.