Minority shareholders can bring oppression claims if they are not treated fairly. These claims are not about strict legal rights but about what is fair in the circumstances, which courts usually measure by considering the reasonable expectations of the shareholders.
Here are some examples of oppressive conduct of dominant shareholders:
- Failing to hold shareholders meetings
- Failing to provide financial statements, or audited financial statements
- Treating the company as if it were owned exclusively by the majority
- Payment of excessive management fees
- Taking unauthorized or secret benefits
- Preferring the dominant shareholder’s interests over the interests of the company
- Unequal or unfair distribution of profits
We regularly advise on these kinds of claims.