As the introduction of the Legal Services Bill looms yet closer on the horizon, partnership structures have begun to consume an ever-increasing amount of lawyers’ and managers’ time.

How many law firms will seek external investment from private equity houses or through an IPO on either AIM or the full market? And what are the best means by which firms can protect themselves from unwanted advances?Clifford Chance, meanwhile, finally made the switch to a UK limited-liability partnership (LLP) in December 2006, almost seven years after becoming a New York LLP upon its merger with Rogers & Wells. The move has resulted in debate on the treatment of UK LLPs by foreign authorities.

This Partnerships Special Report also reviews the increasing need for a tight rein on cashflow to protect firms from financial penalties.