Mixing business and pleasure is widely regarded as dangerous, but mixing business with family can be explosive, especially when that business is started with the proceeds from an attempted murder and results in a vicious battle in the High Court.
Last week, a father and his multi-millionaire son stood before a judge and asked for a decision on who owned a £17.5 million turnover courier business, employing 80 staff. Read more of the story here
Simon Marsh, 35, who started the company, Time Critical Management, with the compensation money he received after being attacked by two men who were trying to murder his father, walked from court victorious after the judge dismissed his father’s evidence as ‘to a large extent, fictitious’. One of the critical areas identified by this case are the need for documentation to ensure that there are no costly disputes over shareholding in the family business.
All too often people involved in the family business trust their relatives and never get around to sorting out the paperwork. Obviously, highlighted in the above case, this can become difficult, jepoardise relationships and ultimately lead to ill-will and a court battle. And the loser is left with a large legal bill.
A reminder to us all. Clearly document anything that is important so that everyone is aware of where they stand, what they own, what they are responsible for and ensure that there is ongoing review and communication over a period ot time to ensure that the documents are kept up to date and relevant too.