Succession: the impact of divorce of a family-owned business - Boodle Hatfield

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29 Mar 2023

Succession: the impact of divorce of a family-owned business

2 min read

The fourth and final season of Succession premiered this week on HBO. The series centres on the owners of a global media and entertainment conglomerate, who are fighting for control of the company amid uncertainty about the health of the family's patriarch. There are mixed reviews about the series - some love it and some despise it - however, it certainly serves to highlight (albeit admittedly to extremity!) the challenges faced by family run businesses where there are multiple family member shareholders involved and the dynamic between them all is far from simple or cohesive. 

Last year I authored a comprehensive guide – ‘A Legacy Intact: safeguarding your family business in the event of divorce’ that examines the risks for family businesses associated with divorce and relationship break down. The resource highlights how, if not carefully handled, these risks can be cataclysmic for family businesses as well as heart-wrenching for the individuals involved. Sensible governance and succession planning is vital to any business – but particularly so for family-owned enterprises where communication between shareholders has an added emotional dimension. It details the legal mechanisms that are available to family businesses to protect their assets and the instruments that can be employed to avoid the potentially severe repercussions of divorce.

Whilst I can't guarantee that reading it will provide the same level of drama and anticipation that comes with Season 4, if you are waiting with bated breath for the next episode of Succession to be released and would like something to occupy you in the meantime, a digital copy of the guide can be found here.

Who will triumph in this titanic family struggle and take on leadership of Waystar Royco?

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