Feb 222016

USA Disputes

Whether you’re a barrister or solicitor – if you deal with shareholder disputes and you have 5 or more years’ experience in business law, LESA’s upcoming Unanimous Shareholder Agreement Disputes program is designed with you in mind.

As seminar chair Bryan Haynes explains, this program offers important information, tips, and best practices to address the surprisingly common issue of shareholder disputes.

A lot of people enter into ventures with friends, family, or, in some cases, strangers. At the outset, everyone has the best intentions and is acting in good faith, but, more often than one would like to think, there is a breakdown in the relationship and a dispute arises. This seminar is focused on how to deal with those disputes, what types of remedies are available, how to enforce those remedies, and some other things like tax and valuation that surround those discussions.”

Program Takeaways

Bryan identified several key topics that attendees will gain insight into at the Unanimous Shareholder Agreement Disputes program.

1)    Realize the value of shareholder agreements.
As Bryan explains, shareholder agreements “often prevent a breakdown in relationship from becoming a dispute, can provide additional remedies that aren’t provided at law, and can also provide some clarity to how disputes are to be resolved.” Essentially, having a shareholder agreement provides more options and better options for resolving disputes.

2)    Review available remedies.
A key program takeaway for Bryan is gaining a “realistic understanding of the practical remedies available and what they entail.” You’ll discuss, for example, provisions for enforcing buyout mechanisms (such as drag-along rights and shot-gun clauses), how to enforce non-competition clauses, and remedies available at law (including oppression remedies and derivative actions).

3)    Understand the limitations to enforcing remedies.
It’s important to fully understand the many difficulties that exist when trying to enforce or exercise an available remedy. Bryan’s goal is that those who don’t fully understand the “perils and pitfalls” in this area will walk away from the program with a more “practical and realistic picture of the USA dispute playing field.”

4)    Discover tips for structuring a negotiation or settlement.
Bryan also sees a lot of value in the tips that attendees will gain for handling negotiation or settlement discussions, including “how best to structure a buyout from a tax perspective, how to evaluate the purchase price of a shareholder’s interest in a company, and also some helpful direction as to whether parties are better off going to court versus using alternative dispute resolution options, such as arbitration.”

5)    Improve your drafting skills and knowledge.
Although the program focuses primarily on understanding what to do in the face of shareholder disputes, understanding this back end will help solicitors at the front end when drafting and negotiating shareholder agreements. For Bryan, understanding the fallout builds an appreciation of “the importance of these provisions and some of the things that should be at least raised or thought of in the drafting process.” With one program session focused on drafting, you’ll also gain tips and best practices for drafting shareholder remedy provisions.


Program Faculty and Topics

As Bryan points out, the many “practical tips and best practices … [offered] by faculty who are quite experienced in these areas” will make this a “very worthwhile conference for everyone to attend who’s involved in drafting shareholder agreements.”

You can view the program brochure for details about the topics presented on by the following panel:


Register Online

The early bird registration deadline is ending soon: register by March 1 to take advantage of this reduced registration rate.

Register now to attend in Edmonton (April 6) or Calgary (April 20). We’re looking forward to seeing you there!