Disputes between shareholders in Polish companies – why should advisor be a specialized “dispute lawyer" and not a “lawyer for everything”?
A lawyer specialized in corporate disputes – an experienced specialist
A lawyer specializing in disputes in a company, assessing the legal situation of his/her client, bases his/her actions not only on an analysis of the situation of the other shareholders, but also the position of the company itself in this conflict. This can be done through appropriate interpretation of the contracts and agreements entered into (especially the company's articles of association) and interpretation of the applicable provisions of Polish law and rulings of Polish courts on this issue. Such analysis requires considerable experience. After all, completely different aspects should be considered in the situation of those who want to stay in the company, and of those who want to leave the company. Completely different elements will be relevant when the dispute is between a shareholder and a member of a corporate body, and different when the dispute involves only shareholders.
Shareholder disputes in a Polish company and the market situation
After analyzing the rights and obligations, as well as the opportunities and risks of the person in dispute, it is also worth looking at the business context of the conflict. For such an assessment, a good lawyer specializing in commercial company law must have knowledge of finance and accounting. Only the conclusions of such a broad analysis make it possible to assess what options a shareholder with 20% of shares actually has in a dispute, versus the one with 90% of shares. It is not uncommon that the analysis of a company's performance must be related to an assessment of the overall market in which the company operates. Only then will the true perspective of the company's operations as well as the opportunities and threats against the competition be shown. Therefore, a lawyer specializing in corporate disputes must have broad and specialized skills. This is because at least a basic knowledge of making valuations and analyzing the company's market environment will be helpful.
A lawyer specializing in shareholder disputes – a comprehensive lawyer
In the next stage of the dispute, negotiation and mediation skills will certainly also be needed to work out an appropriate compromise. Moreover, when there is a chance to settle the matter amicably, a lawyer specializing in company disputes should be familiar with tax law to be able to advise on the best financial solution (for all parties to the conflict). In addition, when ending a dispute in a company, a lawyer should take care to skillfully draft contracts or agreements that safeguard the interests of all parties to the conflict. When, on the other hand, it will be impossible to reach a compromise agreement within the company and it will be necessary to take the matter to court, it is impossible to advise in such a situation without having relevant litigation experience under Polish law.
Shareholder disputes in a Polish company? Do not take the risk – work with a professional!
The complexity of the issue of disputes within companies shows how important it is to choose the right advisor. A lawyer “for everything” is not always the best solution. A lawyer specializing in corporate disputes is certainly the best option. Before entrusting a lawyer with your company's affairs, it is a good idea to ask him/her about past experience or recommendations. After all, there is nothing worse during a dispute in a company than arguing with your own lawyer over the appropriate strategy for handling the case.