Steve recently successfully facilitated the resolution of a family agribusiness dispute by mediation.
The business is substantial, including many thousands of hectares of land, substantial stock holdings, and production of multiple crops. The dispute involved siblings and also crossed generations of the family. It involved issues of estate planning, succession and orderly separation of assets amongst the next generation.
The dispute had been extended over recent years. Communication between family members had been reduced to written exchanges via legal representatives of each party. A substantial financier of the business was threatening to foreclose on some mortgages.
The mediation outcome was a written, commercially-enforceable heads of agreement acceptable to all parties, which outlines other legal instruments and deeds that will be drafted by the parties to give effect to the heads of agreement.
As a result of this successful outcome, the farming assets, which were acquired over several generations in more than a century, will remain in the hands of the family, which is expected to successfully trade out of its debts in the long term.