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Business Partnership Lawyer

When starting a new business venture with someone else, it is highly advisable to put in place a Partnership Agreement (or Shareholders Agreement or Unitholders Agreement where the business is structured through a company or trust vehicle).

At Nevett Ford, our commercial lawyers are committed to assisting our clients in navigating through the complexities of business partnership or shareholders agreements.

Our philosophy is to make things simpler for our clients. We understand that no two businesses are the same. That is why we believe it is important to make sure we understand our client’s business before providing advice tailored to suit their circumstances and the key objectives of the business.

Our commercial lawyers can provide advice on managing the risks associated with a business partnership, ensure they understand their legal obligations as a partner (or a director or shareholder where the business trades through a company), and draft the terms and conditions of the agreement that are appropriate. We are experienced in drafting and negotiating partnership agreements – no matter the size of our client’s business – to ensure the potential of a dispute arising is minimalised.

We also know that sometimes, partners in a business don’t always agree on everything. We are here to help our clients design measures to manage the operation of the business and the resolution of disputes. If a partnership dispute were to arise, our commercial lawyers can provide strategic advice to assist our clients to resolve them swiftly an in a manner that is best for them and the business. Our highly experienced lawyers will also represent you in court, if required, to assist you in obtaining the best outcome possible.

Whether you are looking for a lawyer to draft a solid partnership agreement or to help you resolve your business partnership dispute, our business partnership lawyers are ready to help you. Get in touch with us, and we will assist you in getting the resolution you need.


Why Choose
Nevett Ford

Experience Counts

Our team of dedicated commercial lawyers at Nevett Ford has decades of experience handling legal matters concerning business partnership agreements and partnership disputes. We also have expertise across a comprehensive range of corporate, business, and commercial matters.


Personal and Tailored Services

Our small business lawyers take the time to get to know our client’s business and their current legal needs, as well as considering issues they are likely to face in the future. Then, we will ensure they get a service tailored to their specific situation and needs instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.

Long-Standing Relationships

At Nevett Ford, our lawyers aim to nurture enduring quality relationships with our clients as we are committed to their success throughout the various phases of their business life cycle – from the start-up phase to ongoing growth and development and finally to planning for succession. Nevett Ford has been in business for 170 years and it’s testament to the quality of our work that many of our clients have worked with us on multiple dealings and transactions. 


Fast Responses

We know that time is valuable and that unwanted delays can accumulate and be costly. Our business partnership lawyers are nimble and responsive and will attend to your needs quickly.

Transparent Costs

At Nevett Ford, we will let you know upfront what each stage of the process is likely to cost. We can also work on fixed or capped fees wherever possible.

Why do I need a partnership agreement?

A partnership agreement minimises the potential damage caused by disputes between partners that could arise. Without a partnership agreement, the parties are often forced to seek a resolution through the courts, which is often costly and lengthy, and without certainty. Disputes can arise due to a variety of reasons, including disagreements on how to run the business, a partner competing with the business, and the methods of exiting the business.

Essentially, these agreements create a rule book for the business partner relationship. It is especially important to have these healthy ground rules for those in business with friends and family, as the lines tend to be blurry when it comes to personal relationships. Business partners are always buoyant at the start of a new venture, but things can change.

What should be included in a partnership agreement?

Partners need to agree, from the onset, on how decisions will be made and what happens if there is a disagreement. A well-drafted agreement should include:

● The objectives of the business partnership.
● The obligations of the partners.
● How partnership decisions will be voted on.
● How capital is to be contributed to the partnership.
● How profit is to be distributed.
● How parties will be remunerated.
● The method for introducing new partners.
● The mechanism for when a partner wants to exit or must exit, including determining the value of a share.
● Restraints of trade for outgoing partners.
● Dispute resolution.
● Termination of a partnership.

A well-drafted and thoroughly considered partnership agreement will assist to prevent costly disputes later. Hence, it is recommended that you get in touch with experienced partnership agreement lawyers to assist you in drafting a robust agreement tailored to your needs.

How do I resolve a partnership dispute?

Once a dispute arises, it is preferable to obtain legal advice on how to best resolve it.

If there is a partnership agreement in place – commercial dispute resolution lawyers can assist by advising on the agreement, especially if there is a dispute resolution clause. The clause would outline the various methods a partnership dispute can be resolved, including through negotiations, mediation, or arbitration.

If there is no partnership agreement in place, the usual steps taken to resolve a dispute include:

● Negotiation between the parties.
● If negotiation fails, parties may wish to engage a mediator to facilitate the dispute resolution process.
● If mediation is unsuccessful, the parties may be forced to litigation, which is subject to the relevant State legislation (in Victoria, it is the Partnership Act 1958).

No matter the method, it is best to obtain expert advice from a commercial lawyer with expiernce in business partnership disputes before proceeding to ensure you receive the best outcome possible.

How can Nevett Ford business partnership lawyers assist?

We have significant experience in drafting and advising on partnership agreement, shareholder agreements and other business agreements, negotiating terms between partners, and resolving partnership disputes. Our business partnership lawyers are also trained to advise you on litigation and court matters if required.

If you have further questions concerning a dispute between partners, you are welcome to contact us to discuss the best way forward.

Who You’ll Work With

Stuart Wilson
Peter Lumb
Andrew Lumb
Nathan Xu

    Contact us

    *If you are overseas, please call our office on +61 3 9614 7111.

    Nevett Ford Melbourne Pty Ltd

    ABN: 80 144 697 790

    Level 16, South Tower, Rialto Building, 525 Collins Street
    Melbourne, VIC 3000