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Tyveri ved højlys dag: Majoritetsmisbrug i fåmandsselskaber

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The article examines the scope of minority protection with focus on the prohibition of majority abuse in the Danish Companies Act’s general clauses. The analysis shows that shareholders in close corporations are to some extend obliged to act with loyalty towards each other. This is due to the nature of the firm that stipulates an underlying implicit agreement, which is covered by the contractual duty of loyalty. However, the duty of loyalty is not stated in corporate law and is neither clarified in accompanying case law, which creates an uncertain position for the minority. The general clauses only include qualified types of abuse that constitute an »obvious« and »unjust« benefit. Even though »unjust benefit« is limited by the duty of loyalty, the literal interpretation is inconsistent with the purpose of the clauses, as they aim to protect the minority from hidden discrimination. In general, the minority has a low incentive to prosecute the majority for suspected majority abuse, as the chances of winning is low due to the difficult burden of proof, as well as the litigation costs. Thus, the majority has a high incentive to commit abuse, as the risk of lawsuit is low, and the majority only risks having to pay litigation costs and a compensation equal to his profit gained from the abuse.

Publication information

Original languageDanish
JournalNordisk Tidsskrift for Selskabsret
Volume21
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)52-75
Number of pages24
ISSN1399-140X
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 58809823