The unreliable partner

My client, who specialised in the import of local beer originating from his native country in Central America, had entered into a joint venture with a Dutch man in order to finance his business. The parties had set up a general partnership as the basis for their joint venture, though they did not record any further details of their agreements in writing.

When my client discovered that his business partner had appropriated an entire sea container of imported beer, he immediately lost all faith in his partner. He therefore gave notice to terminate the joint venture with immediate effect. Realising that it would not be possible to continue the joint venture, my client’s partner accepted the termination.

While the termination of the partnership contract by notice and acceptance had brought an end to the general partnership, the debts and property still needed to be divided up.

As there were no creditors, I discussed with my client the possibility of making a proposal to the other party that they should just part company without any further settlement of accounts. This would mean that the partner could keep the beer that he had appropriated. My client would have lost the beer in the sea container, but he would be able to move on quickly and focus on the future. With the help of contacts he had made, he expected to be able to resume his business activities very soon.

Initially, the partner refused to respond to this proposal. It looked as though expensive legal proceedings, in which the court would have to be asked to liquidate the partnership, were unavoidable. This could take a long time and be a costly business. However, once I pointed this out to my client’s former partner, we soon received his confirmation that he agreed to the settlement proposed. This allowed us to close the file and allowed my client to focus his attention on importing Central American beer once again.

When I visited my client’s website recently, I was pleased to see that his beer is now on sale at several locations in the Netherlands. Now that’s proof of success!