The lesson of the case highlighted in this week’s New York Business Divorce is simple: Don’t file for dissolution under the shareholder oppression and looting statute unless you’re prepared for the opposing shareholders to elect to purchase your shares for fair value, because you may not be able to walk it back.
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New York’s statutes authorizing a judicial dissolution petition by oppressed minority shareholders, and granting respondents a corresponding right to elect to purchase the petitioner’s shares, include a provision for a “surcharge” upon controlling shareholders for wrongful dissipation or transfer of corporate assets. It’s a rarely litigated provision, as evidenced by a court decision last month which may be the first ever reported case in which a surcharge claim was upheld. Learn more in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
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A recent decision by Maryland’s highest court addresses the intersection of minority shareholder rights under the “oppression” statute and the at-will employment doctrine, including a thoughtful discussion of less drastic, alternative remedies to dissolution when oppression is established. Learn more in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
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