Valid partnership requires business action

The Court of Appeal gave judgment recently in Ilott v Williams & Ors, unanimously upholding the trial judge’s decision that no partnership existed between four individuals. The court declared that for a valid partnership to exist, it required more than simply a decision to set up a business.

A partnership is defined under section 1 of the Partnership Act 1890 (the 1890 Act) as ‘the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit’.

In this case, Ilott and three individuals collaborated on a new business concept which dealt with asset management. The four decided that outside expertise was required, therefore a deal with a partner at BlueCrest, a limited partnership, was struck by which the four individuals would become partners in BlueCrest and share with it the profits in the new venture…

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