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Partnership and LLP Overview

Chambers is regarded as one of the leading sets for partnership and LLP work and is consistently top ranked in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

Our experience includes both contentious and non-contentious work, involving general partnerships, limited partnerships and LLPs, across the whole range of business sectors such as professional service firms, investment and investment management vehicles, family wealth management partnerships, property, farming, doctors and dentists, both in the UK and overseas.

An increasing part of our work involves issues arising from the use of partnerships and LLPs in hedge fund, private equity and other financial services structures; in international commercial group structures; and as part of wealth planning strategies.

In the professional services sector, our clients include a number of the major firms of solicitors and accountants.  On the non-contentious side, we have experience of domestic and international mergers, demergers and structuring, LLP conversions and revision of partnership agreements.  Contentious experience includes litigation and arbitration across the full spectrum of partnership disputes: in particular, expulsions; team moves; restrictive covenants; retirements; dissolutions; regulatory and disciplinary issues; insurance coverage issues; and liability to third parties.

The Law of Limited Liability Partnerships (4th edition 2016, Bloomsbury Professional) by John Whittaker and John Machell QC (with contributions from other members of Chambers: Thomas Braithwaite, Jennifer Haywood, Matthew Morrison, James Mather, Adil Mohamedbhai, Amy Proferes and Emma Hargreaves) is established as the leading work on LLPs for practitioners and the courts and John Machell QC, Jennifer Haywood and James Mather have published an LLP Legislation Handbook (2010, Bloomsbury Professional).


Chambers & Partners 2018

Several sources concur in identifying Serle Court as "a standout partnership set," noted for both its "flexibility of approach and the strength in depth of its team," which consists of "a good mix of street fighters with real intellectual firepower." The barristers are active in both advisory and contentious roles and handle matters concerning a wide range of partnership types, including family, property and farming partnerships as well as leading professional and financial service practices. Expertise in the LLP field, and in the handling of arbitrations and mediations, are particularly noteworthy areas of specialisation.   

Client service: "The clerks are very proactive in managing barristers, matters and clients." "The clerking is very good - both on the administrative side and in matching the right barrister to the right client." Steve Whitaker is the head clerk. 


Philip Jones QC
Stands out for his clarity of thinking, straightforwardness of exposition and high level of user-friendliness, founded upon many years' experience of handling of partnership and LLP issues, often on behalf of HMRC. He is also prominent in the representation of solicitors' firms and property partnerships, and has acted as counsel in many partnership-related arbitrations.
Strengths: "Superb: clients warm to him very quickly at consultations as he gives clear, pragmatic and commercial advice and is not afraid to back a particular horse." "Very good on the type of dispute requiring a great eye for detail, forensic examination of documents and the development of a detailed argument."

John Machell QC 
Receives extensive and enthusiastic praise from across the market as the go-to silk for the most complex or intractable pure partnership or LLP matters, his mastery of the latter being cited particularly frequently. Interviewees also emphasise his academic authority on, and genuine passion for, partnership issues.
Strengths: "He's Mr LLP: any difficult LLP point and you pick up the phone to John."


Thomas Braithwaite
A versatile commercial chancery barrister with particularly extensive partnership experience in the legal and medical spheres, and in matters concerning partnerships established outside the UK. He is further noted for his familiarity with arbitration and mediation procedures and is especially valued for his pragmatic, dependable advice on the merits of claims and other issues.
Strengths:  "Tom Braithwaite is a brilliant source of robust, no-nonsense advice."

Jennifer Haywood 
Handles an exhaustive range of contentious and non-contentious partnership issues, as part of her wide-ranging chancery practice. Active in both the legal and financial services spheres, and a noted authority on LLP issues, she attracts particular praise for her excellent, candid and common sense-based client service. 
Strengths: "Second to none: she combines high-level strategic advice and lateral thinking with an attention to detail and client service that has made her our go-to counsel this year." "The leading senior junior in this area with significant expertise and experience. She stands on her own two feet, fights her corner hard, and her skill in handling clients makes them big fans of hers."

James Mather 
Singled out by sources for his clear, responsive and thoroughly dependable advocacy and advice in the partnership sphere, particularly where the operations of solicitors' firms, private equity houses and other financial services providers are concerned. He also offers notable expertise and experience on LLP documentation issues and has lately been consulted in connection with government consideration of potential changes to partnership legislation. 
Strengths: "A considered yet also instinctive counsel whose advocacy is incredibly powerful, persuasive and most effective." "Offers intellectual firepower and quick, very elegant thinking. He can be ruthless when he needs to be." 

Legal 500 2017

David Blayney QC - ‘He is very bright, thorough and gets to the core issues quickly’

Frank Hinks QC - ‘An experienced and practical silk'

Jonathan Adkin QC - 'An extremely robust and persuasive advocate'

John Machell QC - ‘His advice and guidance are top-notch’

Philip Jones QC - ‘He has a strong intellect and great advocacy skills’ 

James Mather - ‘A superb, trusted counsel in partnership matters'

Thomas Braithwaite - ‘He is very strong on the law and absorbs large amounts of information in a short period’ 

Jennifer Haywood - ‘Exceptionally user-friendly, easy to work with and a great team player’



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Notable Cases

Grupo Mexico SAB DE CV v Infund LLP CR-2015-002084 & CR-2015-006635

The Companies Act 2006 introduced new provisions giving the Court... more

Re Fingood LLP; Polegoshko v Ibragimov [2015] EWHC 1669 (Ch)

Represented the successful claimants in a case concerning the disputed... more

Newmarket Holdings (Guernsey) Ltd v Confiance Ltd and Ors.

Acted for defendant Guernsey trustees in a c.£20m claim in the... more

Bottrill v Harling [2015] EWCA Civ 564

Acted for the appellant in the Court of Appeal in... more

Flanagan v Liontrust Investment Partners LLP [2015] EWCA 2171 (Ch)

Henderson J gave the first judgment on the question whether... more

Flanagan v Liontrust Investment Partners LLP [2015] EWHC 2171 (Ch)

Application of the doctrine of termination by acceptance of repudiatory... more

Bottrill v Harling {2015] EWCA Civ 564

Oral partnership agreements; repayment of capital accounts on retirement. more

Archer v Nubuke Investments LLP [2014] EWHC 3425 (Ch)

Claim by a former member of a financial services LLP. more

Bates van Winkelhof v Clyde & Co LLP [2014] UKSC 32

Instructed to act for the intervener, Public Concern at Work,... more

Wah v Grant Thornton [2013] 1 All ER (Comm) 1226; [2012] EWHC 3198 (Ch)

Enforceability of ADR provisions in member firm agreement. more

Tiffin v Lester Aldridge [2012] 1 WLR 1887

Employment status of fixed share members of LLPs and meaning... more

Shiraz Boghani v Bashir Nathoo (2011) LTL 10/8/2011: Case Law - AC0129625

Two partners created a partnership for the purposes of carrying... more

Aritsan H Ltd v BDW Trading Ltd & Ors Ch D, 31 March 2010, Kitchin J

A dispute arose between two property developers specialising in urban... more

Gadd v Gadd [2002] 08 EG 160

Basis of valuation for purchase of deceased partner's shares more

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