Legal Updates

A single short-term oppression action in a company will not be sufficient for a claim of oppression of minority

February 14, 2022

A shareholder who inherited the shares in the company from her husband contended oppression of the minority due to lack of access to information about the company and restriction of her access to the company's manager to short thirty-to-forty-minute monthly conversation.

The Court held that while the restriction on meetings with the CEO is problematic, the shareholder had access to the information and her rights were not breached. When a matter of company interest has been conducted by way of oppression of the minority or there is a substantial apprehension that it will be conducted in this way, instructions must be given to remove or prevent the oppression, but long and lasting oppression of many years is not similar to oppression allegations spread over a relatively short period. Here, the alleged period of oppression was particularly short and while the decision to restrict shareholders' access to the company's management is problematic and must be re-examined, the shareholder and her financial advisers were given full access to the company's accounting and no concrete information was hidden from them. Therefore, no claim for oppression of the minority can be made.