CC converts to LLP but omits 23 offices

Clifford Chance has converted to a UK LLP, almost seven years after becoming a New York LLP on its merger with Rogers & Wells.

The firm has been discussing the possibility of changing its status for some years, but has taken until now to finally make …


Clifford Chance has converted to a UK limited liability partnership (LLP), almost seven years after becoming a New York LLP on its merger with Rogers & Wells.

The firm has been discussing the possibility of changing its status for some years, but has taken until now to finally make the switch.

However just six of the firm’s 29 offices are operating as LLPs: Amsterdam, Brussels, Dubai, London, Beijing and Shanghai.

The rest will operate as sub-entities of the LLP due to regulatory reasons. Many jurisdictions have been slow to recognise the UK’s LLP status, posing obstructions to conversion for international firms through tax regimes and other regulatory barriers.

UK LLP status is thought to offer firms a more favourable tax regime, among other benefits, but it was not available to Clifford Chance at the time of the Rogers & Wells merger.

Few other international firms have yet made the leap to LLP, with Allen & Overy (A&O) being the most high-profile in 2004. However A&O has also had to leave many offices out of the LLP, although unlike Clifford Chance France and Germany are included.

Managing partner David Childs said in a statement: “After extensive investigation, the firm has concluded that a British LLP best suits our needs as regards liability, tax and structure, while retaining the culture and organisation of an international partnership.”

Clifford Chance will file its first accounts with Companies House in 2008.