Experienced San Diego Shareholder Dispute Lawyer

Are you looking for experienced and proven San Diego shareholder dispute attorneys who can resolve your concerns and legal issues in a timely and cost-effective manner. Are you a shareholder in a corporation who is concerned about the actions of the management, failure to access the books and important corporate documents or potential fraud?

The experienced shareholder rights and business litigation attorneys at the Watkins Firm take a unique approach to resolve a shareholder dispute in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Shareholder disputes can arise for many reasons, but after 40 years of experience I can tell you the vast majority of disputes between shareholders come down to money, pure and simple.  Shareholders who invest in a company have certain legal rights, even if they hold a minority of the shares.

When the day-to-day management of the company is concentrated in a small group of managers, enforcing those rights may require skilled legal assistance.

Four Decades of Proven Successful Experience

The Watkins Firm has protected the rights of corporate shareholders and investors for almost four decades.  Our successful track record at trial and in these cases provides power and strength to your side of the equation.  We have helped to resolve a large number of San Diego and Southern California shareholder disputes over the years.

These cases have involved partners in small ventures as well as shareholders who were standing up to national concerns.  While we do not work in securities or publicly traded investments, we do represent majority and minority shareholders in disputes and litigation matters.

At the Watkins Firm, we help shareholders assert their rights through litigation if necessary. We also advise companies on steps they can take to clarify shareholder rights in order to avoid potential conflicts.  If you are working through a shareholder dispute we invite you to listen to our podcast on Shareholders’ Rights and Disputes, review the strong recommendations of our clients and contact the Watkins Firm or call 858-535-1511 for a complimentary consultation today.

Asserting Your Rights as a Shareholder

San Diego Shareholder Dispute Attorneys Southern California

Our corporate law attorneys help shareholders who have been subjected to unfair treatment and other violations of their rights. We assist them in pursuing positive resolutions through effective negotiation, mediation and litigation strategies.

Depending on the circumstances, a shareholder may wish to sue other shareholders directly or may wish to bring a shareholder derivative suit against management on behalf of the company. Common types of shareholder rights litigation in California include the following:

Whether your concerns are directed at other shareholders who are violating your rights or the executive team, board of directors or corporate managers who are violating their corporate duties to some or all of the company’s shareholders, we can help you choose an appropriate strategy.

Listen to our Recent Sound Business Insights Podcast:
“Episode 14 – Shareholders’ Rights and Disputes”

Watkins Firm Sound Business Insights - Episode 14 – Shareholders’ Rights and Disputes

Proven Experience in Direct and Derivative Actions

Our attorneys have extensive experience in both direct and derivative actions, and provide sound counsel regarding the best strategy based upon your unique circumstances.  Our experienced shareholder dispute attorney get to the core of the issues quickly and efficiently.

Options for Minority Shareholder Business Dispute Resolution San Diego

These disputes can become quite legally and financially complex and it is important to work with experienced business attorneys who can protect your interests while working quickly to preserve options for the future.

The Watkins Firm takes a unique approach to resolve most shareholder disputes.  You may be surprised to learn that the experienced San Diego shareholder dispute attorneys at the Watkins Firm actually resolve the vast majority of these cases through effective, leveraged negotiation.  This is the fastest and least expensive strategy to resolve a shareholder dispute.

Mediation and arbitration are the next most common steps in a shareholder dispute or lawsuit.  Mediation is a confidential, private legal venue which keeps your personal business out of the public record while providing a strong opportunity to positively resolve your case.  Many contracts specify arbitration as an alternative to trial in a Court of Law.

Watkins Firm attorneys have an extensive track record of success across four decades here in San Diego and Southern California.  We represent our clients at each step of the process seeking to settle the matter in a way which accomplishes their goals and objectives for the case.

What is a Derivative Lawsuit?

Disputes Between Majority and Minority Shareholders Can Be CostlyWhat is a derivative lawsuit for a San Diego corporation, and when should a shareholder consider this business option?  A “derivative lawsuit” is a type of shareholder dispute, where a minority shareholder or part-owner in a company believes the company’s board of directors has failed to take action, or where the board is not acting in the best interests of the company.

Derivative actions are primarily used in cases of a conflict of interest, or when there has been a breach of fiduciary duty by an officer of the company, a board director, or high level executive.

A derivative lawsuit is actually brought on behalf of the corporation itself and is filed against the directors, executives, officers and/or majority shareholders who are suspected of wrongdoing.

A derivative lawsuit for a San Diego corporation may be the best option if you suspect:

  • Fraud
  • Illegal practices
  • Self-dealing
  • Acting in the interest of a third party to the detriment of your corporation
  • Mismanagement

Avoid Shareholder Conflicts With Careful Advance Planning

Correlation Between a CEO’s Pay and Shareholder Returns in San DiegoIf you are starting a new company or issuing shares in an existing company, you should consider how best to avoid the potentially costly and destructive consequences of shareholder litigation through careful drafting of shareholder agreements.  This is why it is so important to carefully review your shareholders’ agreement and corporate bylaws with your Watkins Firm business attorney.

The likelihood of eventual shareholder conflict is particularly high if you have a relatively small number of shareholders and not all of them are directly involved in management.  There are specific laws about how classes of shareholders must be treated (hint: in an equal manner) and majority shareholders should seek the advice and counsel of our attorneys to ensure they are in compliance with all federal and California laws regarding their relationship with other shareholders in the company while protecting the corporate veil.

After more than 37 years of experience I can tell you the most common issue we see as San Diego Shareholder Attorneys almost always come down to money.

Lack of dividends, commingling of business and personal assets by majority interests, inappropriate salary and benefits and poor business decision making are also quite common.

Your shareholders’ agreement should spell out your right to access corporate information such as a shareholders’ list as well who has access to corporate financials and the books.  If you suspect an action for accounting (using the accounting process or system to cover for business fraud or other financial crimes) it is important to seek out a Watkins Firm attorney.

Experienced and Proven San Diego Shareholder Dispute Attorneys

The Watkins Firm has served the San Diego business community for decades, and have extensive experience in all areas of corporate law as well as shareholder disputes and derivative lawsuits. If you are working through a shareholder dispute we invite you to listen to our podcast on Shareholders’ Rights and Disputes, review the strong recommendations of our clients and contact the Watkins Firm or call 858-535-1511 for a complimentary consultation today.