Lovells says yes to LLP conversion

Lovells has voted to convert to an English limited liability partnership (LLP) from 1 May 2007.

Lovells partners last night (5 March) voted overwhelmingly in favour of the conversion, despite lingering concerns over the tax status of a UK LLP in France.

Lovells, along with other City firms with German operations, received assurance in November that conversions would not adversely affect tax status of partners after the German Bundestag passed an amendment to the country’s company law act.

Lovells was among a number of firms, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters that are waiting for confirmation from the French authorities on the tax treatment of a UK LLP. While others have chosen to wait before converting to LLP status, Lovells partners have pushed through the plans.

When Clifford Chance converted in November, it decided to keep its US and French operations separate from the UK LLP.

Lovells senior partner John Young said in a statement: “It makes sense for us to adopt this structure and clients recognise it is a sensible way of working. We have been planning the conversion to LLP status for a number of years and have put in place the necessary mechanics to ensure that the transition is straightforward for everyone involved.”

Following Lovells conversion, only Freshfields, Linklaters and Slaughter and May have not made the conversion to LLP status out of the UK’s top ten firms.