UK firms clamber for LLP status

The Lawyer’s top 100 UK law firms have been registering their intent to become LLPs at a rate of one a month, it can be revealed.

Research conducted by The Lawyer found that, in the last year and a half, 18 law firms that do not currently publicly hold LLP status have registered their incorporation with Companies House, the official register of UK businesses.

Almost a quarter of the top 100 UK law firms are listed on the Government’s records as holding LLP status, although these partnerships have not yet been launched officially.

The news comes just a week after magic circle firm Linklaters confirmed that it will be incorporating officially this May (The Lawyer, 12 March), along with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Lovells.

More than 40 per cent of the top 100 UK law firms have already converted to LLP status, while 34, including Irwin Mitchell and Russell Jones & Walker, hold limited company status.

Media specialist Olswang was the first of the top 100 law firms to register as an LLP back in 2001, but it has still not added the letters after its name.

The surge in law firms converting to LLP status comes as they seek to limit exposure to major negligence claims, such as in Equitable Life and BCCI.