When there are multiple owners of a company, shareholder disputes are more likely to happen. The smaller the company, the more likely disputes are to happen, especially if multiple owners are responsible for managing business affairs. When disputes between owners happen, though, it can have devastating effects on the businesses and shareholders. What rights do you have if the owners of the business you’re a shareholder of have a falling out? Can you seek damages, compensation, or other legal remedies?
If you’re a shareholder and your business owners just had a dispute, you may be wondering what to do next. Fortunately, our legal team at King & Jones can help you navigate the process of filing claims and fighting for fair compensation by offering advice on what to do. Whether you intend to petition for damages or plan to seek litigation and other legal remedies, our attorneys have years of experience representing shareholders in similar disputes and situations.
One of the most common types of claims filed by shareholders during owner disputes involve allegations of breach of fiduciary duty.
One of the first steps to filing a claim over an alleged breach of fiduciary duty is to determine if the person(s) you want to file a claim against actually owed a fiduciary duty to the business you’re a shareholder for. According to Illinois law, shareholders, directors, and corporate officers owe fiduciary duties to the company, and vice versa. These duties include the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. Duty of loyalty refers to the act of putting company interests before personal interests. Under the duty of loyalty, a shareholder can argue a breach of fiduciary duty was made during conflicts of interest if an owner is found guilty of embezzling company money, and other disputes that conflict with the duty of loyalty.
It is important to note that when a breach of fiduciary happens, the guilty party can be held liable for any damages incurred to the shareholder. When claiming that a fiduciary duty was breached, the wronged shareholder(s) will have to prove a few things, including that a duty existed between them and the company, and that the guilty party did not fulfill its duty. Additionally, the shareholder will have to prove that they incurred damage as a result of the breach of fiduciary duty. These must be established before a court will require the guilty party to fork over damages and compensation for losses.
If you were recently the victim of a breach of fiduciary duty, the experienced Chicago breach of fiduciary duty attorneys at King & Jones may be able to help. We have experience examining claims to help determine which parties in a dispute are guilty of breaching a fiduciary duty. If we determine a duty was breached, we can help you craft a civil case to seek damages and compensation. Give us a call today for a consultation at 312-372-4142.