Shareholder disputes are common in the business world but they do not have to reach the litigation stages if you have an experienced mediation attorney guiding your company. When you utilize mediation to resolve shareholder disputes, you not only save money, but you also minimize the damage done to personal relationships within the organization. The team from Shapiro Mediation Services has the experience necessary to advise companies of all sizes throughout Massachusetts.

Shareholders are entitled to review and copy the books of the company during normal operating hours. The shareholder must provide this request in writing five days prior to reviewing the documents. A shareholder can review meeting minutes, a full list of shareholders, and accounting records.

Common Shareholder Disputes

When a conflict arises in a closely held business, whether it’s run by a family or group of friends, it typically requires the assistance of an experienced legal mediator to examine the corporate bylaws, partnership agreements, and operating agreements. These documents must be reviewed to determine how shareholder disputes will be handled and to have an understanding of the rights of the shareholders. Common shareholder disputes include the following:

  • Disputes regarding hiring practices and employees
  • Breach of contract
  • Questions regarding returns on investment
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Disputes about finances
  • Real estate disputes
  • Deceptive practices
  • Fraud
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Shareholder oppression
  • Business divorces
  • Breakups of partnerships
  • Disputes regarding business succession

The goal of our firm is to represent clients involved in shareholder disputes so that they can come to an agreement that allows them to resume normal business operations. If mediation is not successful, our firm is prepared to represent our clients throughout the litigation process in an effort to protect their business interests and rights under Massachusetts shareholder law. Contact the experienced team of mediators from Shapiro Mediation Services today to schedule a consultation.

The Benefits of Mediation for Resolving Shareholder Disputes

Mediation has become the most popular alternative dispute resolution method for shareholder disputes because it is non-binding. When two parties enter into mediation, they do not have to come to an agreement on a resolution, and the mediator is not permitted to make a decision like an arbiter does during the arbitration process. Other benefits of the mediation process for resolving shareholder disputes include the following:

  • Mediation is private – The company’s information and the dispute will not be made known to the public like it is during litigation.


  • Parties are more inclined to be honest – With mediation being private, the parties involved are more likely to be open and honest during negotiations.


  • Increase in negotiations – Mediation is the best option for parties that simply want to negotiate back and forth as much as possible.


  • A simpler process – Mediation is a simpler process compared to arbitration and involves fewer people. Arbitration might include both parties, their attorneys, an arbitrator, and a panel of arbitrators.


  • Increased control – You have an increase in control over the proceedings when using mediation instead of arbitration or litigation. You are responsible for coming to an agreement and do not have to rely on a judge or arbitrator to make a decision in your favor.

The main goal of mediation is for two parties to find common ground regarding their dispute. The more comfortable you are at the negotiating table, the more likely it is that you will be able to come to an agreement that favors you and the other party involved in the shareholder dispute.

The Importance of Mediation

Mediation is important in shareholder disputes because it allows two parties to continue their working relationship once the dispute has been resolved. Business partners choose mediation, for this reason, most of the time. 

Not every shareholder dispute will result in the dissolution of the agreement or with one shareholder selling their portion of the company. Most shareholder disputes can be resolved to the point where both parties continue to work together for the common good of the business.

If you are concerned about preserving your relationship with a fellow shareholder, mediation is the appropriate dispute resolution method for your company. There is less stress, less involvement from outside influencers, and you control the pace of negotiations and the outcome.

Contact Shapiro Mediation Services Today

Do you have a dispute with a fellow shareholder within your company? Do you take issue with the hiring process or how the finances are handled? If so, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced mediator from Shapiro Mediation Services about your situation. Call our office in Boston at (339) 298-7733 today to schedule a consultation.


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