Another door closes on LLP members’ rights

My clients have often been surprised by how few rights they had as LLP members but delighted when I mentioned the most powerful weapon in the aggrieved partners’ armoury. Last week, however, the High Court inspected that weapon for the first time and concluded it did not work. Continue reading

New rights for partners?

In this blog, I have often bemoaned the lack of rights available to partners, particularly junior partners. A recent Supreme Court decision means that all “workers’ rights” should now be available to certain partners but which partners and how these rights will work both remain unclear… Continue reading

LLP law is changing but the LLPs don’t seem to know!

LLP law is changing but the LLPs don’t seem to know! Well, the legal and accountancy LLPs know but I am not convinced that word has reached all their clients. Over the past month, I have reviewed documents for several prospective members of LLPs which fall foul of HMRC’s new rules on employees disguised as partners. Continue reading

Competing against your ex-partners – A bridge too far?

For years it has been assumed that partnerships are able to enforce onerous restrictive covenants against departing partners.  The authority for this view is the 1984 Privy Council decision of Bridge v Deacons; a decision based on outdated ideas, peppered with outdated language and not even binding on the UK courts.  Bridge v Deacons is ripe for review! Continue reading

When is a partner not a partner?

One of the first things I am asked to advise ‘partners’ is often whether or not they are really employees.  Sometimes this is so they can evade onerous post-termination restrictions, sometimes so that they can bring an unfair dismissal or a whistle-blowing claim in the Employment Tribunal and often for both reasons.  Generally the answer is that they are not employees but sometimes they are….

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Become a partner and lose your rights…

When I was a junior lawyer, every year I would go to drinks parties at which the newly made-up partners would ironically toast taking on unlimited liability.  Now most law firms have converted to Limited Liability Partnerships, the risks of becoming a partner (or, technically, a member of an LLP) are substantially reduced but people are still giving up significant rights, often without realising it.  As more and more people are becoming members of LLPs (often simply so that their employers no longer have to pay 13.8% employers’ national insurance over and above their salary) employment protections are being eroded… Continue reading