Lovells is looking at opening its LLP to non-equity partners, effectively giving the entire partnership voting rights within the firm.
At its partnership conference in Barcelona last week (8-12 November) the firm mooted the idea to the partnership, with discussions expected to continue for some time before a final decision is reached.
Specifically, the firm will need to iron out which issues non-equity partners will be allowed to vote on, with the appointment of equity partners in particular out of bounds.
According to senior partner John Young, following its conversion to LLP status in May, Lovells formed a committee to look at a number of amendments to the partnership agreement.
“One was the issue of whether non-equity partners should be members of the LLP and have a vote,” he said. “We set out a paper to get views on the subject. It actually opens up more questions than it answers, because there are big tax consequences in some places. Most of the discussion on this will focus on whether we’ll screw up people’s tax.”
According to The Lawyer UK 200 Annual Report, at the end of the 2006-07 financial year Lovells had 313 partners, 228 of whom were in the equity.