Shareholder Agreements

A strong shareholders agreement is essential to manage and regulate the relationship between the shareholders of a company.

Running a company is not without its difficulties and unfortunately, issues over its control and operation are sometimes unavoidable. The purpose of a shareholders agreement is to set out the shareholders’ rights and obligations and a dispute resolution process. Putting the right contractual framework in place can nip many disputes in the bud, helping you avoid time-consuming and expensive court litigation.

At Lewis Denley, we provide a specialist company formation and contract drafting/review services to clients in and around Horsham, West Sussex. Our commercial solicitors have a wide range of expertise advising joint ventures, start-ups, first-time business owners and more.

Our approach is to embrace innovation, helping our clients grasp commercial opportunities while still competently managing risk. We pride ourselves on our personal service and ability to swiftly adapt our expertise to your individual situation. From the moment you instruct us, we will get to know your business and commercial goals and tailor our advice accordingly.

As a full solution law firm, we offer a broad range of corporate and commercial services. As well as shareholders agreements, we can assist with every aspect of company structuring.

For expert corporate and commercial law advice, get in touch by giving us a call at our offices in Horsham or emailing

What is a shareholders agreement?

A shareholders agreement is a contract between all the shareholders of a company which sets out the shareholders’ relationships with each other, the directors and the company.

You are not required by law to implement a shareholders agreement but it is an essential aspect of structuring a new or newly acquired company to avoid disruption if disagreements arise later down the line.

Our commercial and corporate solicitors’ expertise

There are many positives to instructing our talented team of solicitors. Just a few of the benefits we offer include:

  • Advice from knowledgeable solicitors with decades of combined experience assisting in company formation matters. We combine legal knowledge with commercial strategy to tailor a solution that works for your individual business
  • We act for a broad range of businesses, from start-ups to acquisitions of large regional and national corporations, giving us strong practical experience
  • Your matter will be dealt with by a legally qualified expert who will take full responsibility for the progress of your case. This allows us to truly get to know your business so we can adapt our advice to achieve your goals
  • We also help businesses resolve disputes between shareholders and between shareholders and directors. This means when drafting shareholders agreements, we know exactly what challenges to look out for and can help you minimise the risk of disputes

What are the benefits of a shareholders agreement? 

Unlike the company’s Articles of Association, the terms of the shareholder’s agreement do not have to be filed with Companies House, allowing you to keep the regulation of the company private.

A solid agreement will also help minimise the risk of dispute because every shareholder’s rights and duties will be clearly set out in writing with special mechanisms set up to resolve issues.

There are many other reasons to set up a shareholders agreement, including to:

  • Protect minority shareholders
  • Control dilution of shares
  • Restrict the transfer of shares
  • Give shareholders a right of first refusal when shares go up for sale
  • Place restrictive covenants on ex-shareholders
  • Set out how company decisions will be made
  • Restrict or promote certain kinds of business
  • Set out what will happen if a shareholder dies or goes bankrupt
  • Set out the procedure for how shareholders can leave the company
  • Set out the make up and employment terms of the company management and board of directors

Get in touch with our corporate and commercial solicitors today 

For expert corporate and commercial law advice, get in touch by giving us a call at our offices in Horsham or emailing

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