Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015 to protect assets of law firm partners

Minister for Justice and Equality - Crowe Ireland

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan.

On 7 October 2019, the Minister for Justice and Equality signed the commencement order to commence Chapter 3 of Part 8 of the Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015.

From 1 November 2019, the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) will accept applications from solicitor firms that are currently partnerships to change to a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) structure.

These changes are significant in that solicitors operating in partnership firms will now be able to protect their personal assets by using LLPs. Previously, partners were joint and severally liable for the debts of the partnership or any negligence claims that might be made against the firm. As an LLP the partners will not be personally liable in this way, but rather the debts will be limited to the assets of the firm, in the same way that the debts of a limited liability company are limited to the assets of the company. It is expected more than half of Irish partnerships will choose to take up LLP status to avail of this limited liability.

Crowe can advise and help prepare partnership firms should they wish to seek authorisation to change to a limited liability partnership. We can also advise on best practice with regard to accounting, taxation and LLP reporting obligations.

Contact audit partner Neil Davitt for more information.