How to remove a partner

Mar 29, 2019

It’s never a nice thing to have to do, but when you’re working hard and begin to have those nagging doubts about your partner’s performance or behaviour, you need to tackle it before it gets worse and effects your business.

As partnership law experts, one of the most common questions we are asked is “How do I get rid of my partner?”. We like to give straight answers and we know that clients don’t like a “That depends …” answer to a simple question, but sadly it does depend on a few things. To help make like simpler, we’ve devised a simple flow chart to help you on your way, which is shown below.

The key things to work out are whether you are really in a partnership. If you are, the next question is whether there an agreement and if there isn’t – and sadly there often isn’t – then what sort of partnership is it? If two or more of you set up in business together with no formal agreement or forms, you are most probably in a general partnership. If you have shares in a limited company, you are not partners in the legal sense, but fellow shareholders. We can help with that as well.

Partnership disputes are really just commercial divorce. It’s easy to get worked up, not about the fact that your partner squeezes the toothpaste in the middle of the tube, but that they don’t do their share of hours or paperwork or they treat client/patients/customers in a way you do not like. Our job is to remove the heat, stick to the facts and allow you to get on with running your business without the hassle of the partnership problem.

Very often, these matters boil down to a straight negotiation. You want your partner out; they will go more easily if it is made worth their while. It may well be their fault, and their behaviour may well have been atrocious, but you must make a commercial decision. Are you prepared to pay something for a quick and easy exit? A full blown partnership dispute is very time-consuming and expensive and detracts from what it is that you do – satisfying clients, treating patients and the like. We do of course have a very big legal stick and we sometimes use it, but our experience is that a negotiated settlement is usually best for both parties.

So, if now’s the time to do something about your problem partner, contact us for a free no-obligation chat about how we can help you.

Bennett Briegal LLP advises LLPs and partnerships of all shapes and sizes. If you want to know more speak to Mark Briegal on 07973 283678 or email for a no-obligation chat.