In addition to their standard terms the employment contracts of directors and senior executives often touch on other issues such as the issue of shares and shares options normally accompanied by a shareholders agreement.
As these are key personnel it can be vital for your business to ensure that there are appropriate terms in place to cover their obligations during the relationship and after they leave, especially in relation to their ability to compete with you and to deal with your customers, staff and suppliers. Such restrictions have to be carefully drafted if they are to be enforceable.
Our employment and commercial specialists can provide you with advice and guidance to ensure that your interests are protected and that all parties are clear as to their roles and responsibilities.
Where disputes arise these often have various facets – you will need to resolve the relationship as employees, directors with statutory responsibilities and shareholders with financial interests. Our dispute resolution team have practical experience of resolving disputes involving shareholders and directors – preferably by way of negotiation but where necessary through litigation.
Often disputes centre on the terms of a shareholders agreement following the departure of one party and the termination of their employment – these agreements will normally detail the terms on which their shares must be sold and impose restrictions on their future business activities.
This is a complex area of law and it essential that you take advice in order to protect your interests at the outset of your relationship and at the earliest possible opportunity should a dispute arise.