Stolen Company Shares!

After asking an earlier Q, I’ve realised there is a wealth of experience to take advantage of here!!!
I have a Problem!!! I left my company approx a year ago.
I purchased their shares over 20 yr period through.a worktax program, which weren’t held in the co but by a share ‘broker’
I went to take them out and transfer them here and the co have Taken Them. All of them! Thousands!
The broker said co have in small print that they can do this after varying time periods depending on the co.
It looks like they took them about 5 months after.
Can I do anything to get them back???
I had no warning, nothing.
Please if you know the answer, even if bad, let me know.

Contact a lawyer.

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Yep. Maybe one on here!!!? Lol

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You must of had paperwork for scheme. I know they can charge for holding shares if you retain them but would depend on country,scheme etc. Contact Hr for the company.

They won’t be stolen if charges and they offset against them for example.

Yeah first off I would suggest that you need to carefully review the documentation you were given for your share scheme.

They also usually don’t just sell your shares, they will often contact you several times first where an upcoming action is going to happen.

For example a common thing with corporate share schemes is that you must keep them for a specific amount of time in the scheme for them to be tax free. If you leave work then all your shares in the last x years you must pay tax on. By default if you ignore their communication to you they will sell your shares to pay the tax.

If you purchased company shares with your money, and they weren’t given to you free by the company then its very strange that you never received the proceeds of the sale of the shares. I agree with everyone else, you should probably look to speak to an approbate lawyer.

I might add, the information you’ve given is pretty vague, it sounds like you might not have all the information. Id suggest you do that first.

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Sounds like a misunderstanding somewhere. Surely they can’t just take your company shares after a period of time. Need a lot more information to get half decent responses on this one I think!

Could it be something like these were options and not shares and you did not exercise them so they have expired? Or were they “matching shares” with conditions attached such as a vesting period or performance targets? Just a couple of guesses… as others said you should seek legal advice or at least speak to someone knowledgeable from within the company you worked for, as the broker will probably not be too helpful on specifics (brokers like Computershare manage thousands of different company share schemes and their customer support probably wouldn’t get involved with the specific terms other than trying to copy and paste them where available, which they may not be after 20 years!)

Thankyou everyone!
Didnt give out too much info as didnt know if anyone would respond as newly joined.
Ok. More info. By the way you all had correct pieces of info.
20 years ago 98 free shares to everyone with co takeover. Certificates with this.
Then BAYE schemes. Yes some with matching shares, some with buy 2 get 3. Some just buy amount every month before tax. So Yes, a lot had to be held for up to 3 years so no tax. Nearly all matured.
Stop and start over the next 20 years. All different rules but at the last few years just buying any amount b4 tax with no matching shares.
All laid out to see on screen with brokers(kept changing companies) service got worse but eventually still see all the info on a screen. Yes then ‘copy and paste’ and ended up in Computershare who recently put in another name attached to them. Paper certificates went after so many years but had them for a few years.
(I have ones given)
I wont name co but big one with bad communication as try centralise everything. Left just after Covid started.
Definitely No contact from them about money.
Went to move them. Not matching shares only gone or anything but All of them.
Computer share lady said it happens with companies all the time.just different time frames.of when they take them if u don’t??
All my save as you earn money was still there (3 yr saving with offer to exchange programme) and I removed it immediately.
I bought thousands of shares.