Practice Area:

Partnership Disputes

Partnership Disputes


Partnership Disputes

A partnership is any arrangement where two or more people engage in business together for a common goal. While stakeholders may start out with a mutual objective of achieving success, they may later disagree on a variety of important business issues – especially if the business encounters financial or other challenges along the way. Legal disputes over partnership arrangements, including disputes about whether a partnership was actually formed, can present significant hurdles, detracting attention from running the venture. If not handled timely and properly, partnership disagreements can end up having the unintended consequence of destroying the business completely. Rodman Employment Law is available for consultation and representation in litigation in such instances, and encourages potential clients who recognize the signs of an approaching partnership dispute to contact us immediately. In many cases, the client’s early recognition of the need to engage counsel can be the difference between a good and bad result.

Partnerships go bad for a number of reasons and the longer the dispute lasts, the more insurmountable the conflict can become. It is critical for stakeholders to be cognizant of potential sources of disagreement and address them whenever possible. Written partnership agreements are useful in averting problems – to the extent they adequately address the issues material to the harmony of the partners in the business, but they cannot account for all possible clashes. Therefore, it is essential to recognize disagreements and address them before they deal a devastating blow to the partnership.

Factors Behind Partnership Disputes

Partnership conflicts can arise from almost anything regarding business operations or components of the entity. Some examples of common partnership disputes that our attorneys can assist with include: 

    • Breach of Contract and Agreements (Written or oral), 
    • Breach of Fiduciary Duty, 
    • Unethical Activity,
    • Embezzlement,
    • Fraud

Laws Concerning Partnership Disputes

Massachusetts has enacted the Uniform Partnership Act, which contains provisions on the rights and interests of stakeholders, powers of the entity, recordkeeping, and an array of other matters involved with creating, operating, and dissolving a partnership. It also incorporates legal and equitable provisions of general common law: Certain aspects of running a partnership are governed by the concept of legal precedent, as opposed to the rights and remedies described in statutory law. Civil claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud are examples of cases that are rooted in common law.

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Laws Concerning Partnership Disputes

As with many legal matters, a lawyer can offer assistance with understanding the law, weighing legal options for recourse, and taking action to enforce the rights of partners. However, for many stakeholders, the partnership is more than just a source of income. Our attorneys at Rodman Employment Law know that there may be more at stake with these conflicts as compared to an arm’s length business transaction: To stakeholders, the partnership is their livelihood and there are emotional considerations that go behind the financial investment.

With such passion comes the potential for emotion to cloud judgment, bringing to mind another very important role an attorney can play: Keeping the focus on what’s best for the partnership and the individuals who comprise it. Often, a lawyer can facilitate compromise in a partnership dispute by guiding a productive conversation. If attempts to resolve the dispute are unsuccessful, or there are other grounds to initiate litigation, an attorney can fight for all available legal remedies.

Partnership Disputes Links & Resources

 This website provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and gives advice on how to go about ending a business partnership.


A resource provided by Cornell Law School which details state and federal law regarding partnerships.



  • In 2022, the number of small businesses in the US reached 33.2 million, making up nearly all (99.9 percent) US businesses..[1]
[1] https://www.oberlo.com/statistics/number-of-small-business-in-the-us

Consult with a Knowledgeable Massachusetts Attorney About Partnership Disputes

At Rodman Employment Law, your parnership disputes attorneys share your goals for your organization, which is why we are dedicated to assisting you in overcoming these challenges. Our team consists of accomplished lawyers who can provide knowledgeable advice on any type of commercial or business disagreement. While we would develop a strategy to resolve your dispute through negotiation or mediation, we are prepared to undertake all available legal courses of action that align with your intentions. Please contact our Boston-based office to set up a consultation regarding your situation. It may also be helpful to review a summary of how partnership disputes arise, common examples, and how an experienced attorney can help.

If you would like more information about partnership disputes, your individual rights, or the interests of the entity itself, please contact the Boston-based litigation law firm of Rodman Employment Law. You can reach our Newton, MA office at (617) 820-5250 or visit our website to schedule a consultation.