Business Partnership Disputes

Dealing with partner disputes without killing the business is a high-wire act that requires experience and a big picture perspective.


Partners owe each other a fiduciary duty to act in the interests of the partnership, rather than themselves individually. Although this principal sounds straightforward, it is not always so. Sometimes there is a dispute concerning whether a matter is related to the business of the partnership. Partners may be seen as focusing on business that benefits their own individual compensation, rather than that of the partnership as a whole. Disagreements over seemingly routine matters, such as expense reimbursement, can turn into full blown disputes. And of course, matters can turn ugly when a partner that controls access to the financial accounts is accused of misdirecting funds.

It is important to figure out the legal boundaries that will apply to a dispute, which usually starts with the partnership agreement. Based on that analysis, the business can develop a strategy that balances the desire to deescalate the situation (or keep it from escalating) with the need to preserve legal rights and prevent further damage.

If legal action is necessary, key considerations include: the legal theories to pursue and the evidence to support them; the specific the cost and drain on partnership resources; the impact on the businesses customers, vendors, banks; and the desire goal of the litigation.

ASG Law can help navigate the legal and business complexities of a partnership disputes.