Partnership disputes can be unsettling for any business or individual and need to be resolved promptly. Our team have a broad range of experience in dealing with and resolving partnership disputes using mediation or where necessary, litigation.

We offer clear, straightforward advice ensuring that your interests are looked after and the dispute is resolved quickly to minimise the impact on you and your business.  

We deal with matters from both individual partners and business and commercial partnerships across a variety of sectors from agriculture and manufacturing to social housing and healthcare.

There are many reasons why disputes with partnerships arise, the three most common include:

  • The lack of partnership agreement
  • Splitting of capital or assets
  • Exiting a partnership agreement

Partnerships

There are various ways in which a business can be structured, and partnerships in various forms are commonplace.  It is not uncommon for disputes to arise in relation to partnerships whether it be in the context of what is owned by the partnership, the provisions of a Partnership Agreement or the lack of a Partnership Agreement. The implications of being subject to the Partnership Act 1890 in those circumstances, to what happens when a partner wishes to exit the partnership or passes away. 

Types of partnership

Partnerships can be created in some different ways, and it is not true to say it can only be done so in writing where a Partnership Agreement has been entered into.  Further information in respect of the ways in which partnerships can be established can be found in our article The importance of a written Partnership Agreement.  The way in the partnership has been established will determine how the partnership is dealt with at key stages of its life and assistance can be provided to deal with matters ranging from those where it is argued a partnership has not been established at all to the terms that govern a particular partnership. 

Exiting partnerships

In some circumstances, a dispute can arise when a partner wishes to exit a partnership, but the terms of that exit cannot be agreed.  It is necessary to be creative in the way in which exists are structured, and where disputes occur, it is necessary to take into consideration the continuation of the partnership in a different guise if that required and achieve a fair exit strategy for the leaving partner.

Wills and partnership agreements

It is extremely important to be aware that a Partnership Agreement takes precedence over a Will so that if the latter is not written with the former in mind, then there is every chance that an asset that you wish to gift is not actually yours – it belongs to the partnership.  This is particularly common in a rural setting, where an error is to gift a farm, or individual parcels of land, under the terms of a Will only to discover that, according to the Partnership Accounts, those assets are actually partnership assets thereby rendering the relevant clauses in the Will ineffective.