How to Resolve Partnership Disputes

Two or more people entering a business relationship is generally called a partnership. Most people enter these relationships with the best intentions but often don’t plan for when things go wrong.

Partnership disputes arise when disagreements occur between business partners regarding various aspects of their partnership, such as finances, management, or ownership.

Timely resolution is crucial to prevent further damage to the partnership and business operations, as unresolved disputes can lead to strained relationships, financial losses, and even legal action.

Read on to learn how to resolve partnership disputes and when to call a business law attorney like one of the experienced team members at BrewerLong for assistance.         

What Are the Types of Partnership Disputes?

While partners can conflict in many ways, these are the most common disputes that might affect a business relationship.

Financial Disputes

In partnerships, financial disputes often revolve around profit sharing and capital contributions. Disagreements over how profits should be distributed or reinvested can strain relationships and create tension among partners. For example, one partner may feel they are not receiving a fair share of profits or that another partner is not contributing their agreed-upon capital. These disputes can lead to decreased trust, communication breakdowns, and affect partnership decision-making

Management Disputes

Management disputes often arise from conflicts over authority and decision-making processes. Partners may have differing views on who has the final say in some issues, leading to power struggles and inefficiencies. These disputes can hinder the partnership’s ability to make timely and effective decisions, affecting the business’s overall performance.

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Ownership Disputes 

Ownership disputes can arise over issues such as ownership percentages and changes in the ownership structure. Disagreements regarding the distribution of ownership stakes or the addition/removal of partners can lead to significant tensions within the partnership. These disputes can often be complex and may require legal intervention to resolve.

Solving Partnership Disputes

When partnership disputes arise, finding the right solution is crucial to maintaining business operations and preserving relationships among partners or members. Some ways that partners can resolve their legal issues include:

  • Mediation. This alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method involves a neutral third party facilitating discussions between partners to help them reach a mutually agreeable solution. It focuses on finding compromises that all parties can accept, aiming to preserve the partnership while addressing the underlying issues causing the dispute. 
  • Arbitration. Another ADR method is arbitration, a more formal process where a neutral arbitrator or panel hears arguments from both sides and makes a decision. This decision can be binding or non-binding, depending on the parties’s agreement.
  • Litigation. This involves taking the dispute to court, where a judge or jury will decide. Litigation is typically the most expensive and time-consuming option for resolving partnership disputes, and the court’s decision determines the outcome.

Finally, partners can attempt to negotiate a settlement. This involves direct communication between partners to reach a mutually acceptable solution. It is an informal process that can be conducted with or without the assistance of legal counsel, but having the right attorney on your side can be vital in solving partnership disputes.

How Can an Attorney Help with My Partnership Dispute?

While having an attorney represent you in a partnership dispute is certainly not required by law, it is strongly recommended and can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Here’s how an attorney can be a positive force in your situation.

Legal Advice and Guidance

Attorneys play a crucial role in providing legal advice and guidance to partners involved in disputes. The role includes interpreting partnership agreements to help partners understand their rights and obligations under the contract. Attorneys can also assess the dispute’s legal implications and advise on the best course of action.

Dispute Resolution Representation

An experienced attorney can represent a partner in various dispute resolution processes, such as mediation, arbitration, or litigation. They advocate for their clients’s interests and ensure that their rights are protected throughout the process. 

Contract Drafting and Review

A business lawyer can assist you in drafting and reviewing partnership agreements to ensure they are clear, comprehensive, and legally sound. Attorneys can also review existing contracts to identify any potential issues and provide recommendations for amendments or updates.

Overall, the right attorney can be critical in resolving partnership disputes by providing legal advice, representing partners in dispute resolution processes, and ensuring that partnership agreements are clear and enforceable. 

Trust BrewerLong

If you are dealing with a partnership dispute and don’t know where to turn for guidance, contact BrewerLong today. We specialize in business-related issues, including those involving partnerships and related disputes.

We can assist you in navigating mediation for partnership conflicts, help you leverage its advantages, or represent your interests in litigation if necessary. Call us to schedule a consultation, or fill out our online form to get started.

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