Leaving a partnership to sail the Mediterranean

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

When I first heard David Greer’s story, I started to salivate. Not at the acrimony that created the situation, but at the end result:  a two-year Mediterranean cruise with his family!

But it could not have happened had David not been willing to follow the advice of his attorney and sign a shareholders’ agreement for his company.

Here’s how Dave tells it:

Around 1985 I signed my first shareholder’s agreement. It contained a Shotgun Clause. I remember arguing with my lawyer at the time that “we don’t need this – my partner and I get along fantastically.” My lawyer said, “you get along now, but that might not always be the case …”. 


Roll the clock forward to 2000. We had gone through a few different corporate structures by then, but the original shotgun clause was in place. Good thing, as for the first time in our relationship we came to diametrically opposite views for the future of the company. Without the shotgun clause, I would have had no way out. Thankfully, I made a good offer and as it happens, I got bought out.


At the time, everyone was shocked that I was out of the company, but it let me do something completely different – sail for two years in the Mediterranean while my wife and I home schooled our three children!  (Visit www.davidgreer.ca/cruise).


I’ve always been very thankful to my original lawyer that made sure the clause was in place from the very beginning.

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