Our multi-disciplinary professional services group has a leading reputation for advising professionals and is recognised for its expertise in advising on partnership and LLP matters, for both firms and individual partners.

We understand that professional partnerships face unique challenges; our experience and specialist knowledge helps to solve them. Our clients include firms and individuals in the legal, accountancy, real estate and financial services sectors. We advise overseas professional service firms establishing offices in the UK and continental Europe and advise on cross-border mergers of professional services businesses. We advise firms and individuals on complex discrimination claims in both the employment tribunal and courts. We advise on regulatory responsibilities, both in respect of contentious matters and ongoing compliance.

Professional services experience

  • Advised Bond Dickinson LLP on its transatlantic combination with US firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice to form Womble Bond Dickinson LLP.

  • Advised Town Legal LLP on changes to its constitutional arrangements to accommodate growth during phase two of its development, following the successful transition from phase one.

  • Acted for the successful petitioner in the reported case of Eaton v Caulfield & Others [2011] BCC 386 which is the first reported case on the application of the unfair prejudice provisions of the Companies Act 2006 to limited liability partnerships.

  • Advised Michelet & Co Ltd, a Norwegian law firm, on its merger with Schjødt.

  • Acted for a national law firm which had exercised its right to retire compulsorily one of its members – the case was settled successfully in a mediation shortly after the retiring partner had commenced arbitration proceedings.

  • Advised Bircham Dyson Bell LLP on its merger with Pitmans LLP.

  • Acted for a major law firm in respect of allegations of sexual misconduct by a partner against a member of staff.

  • Advised our Turner Prize winning architect clients on a restructuring of their business into an LLP.

  • Acted for a national accountancy firm regarding the acquisition of a partner and his team from another firm, including the alleged breach of post-termination restrictive covenants.

  • Advised a top 10 accountancy practice on its conversion from a partnership to an LLP.

  • Acted for partners in claims for fraudulent misrepresentation following their departure from their firm.

  • Obtained important interim injunctive relief on behalf of a leading law firm against a departing member for alleged breaches of the firm’s LLP Agreement, including the protective covenants.

  • Acted for a leading international accounting, tax and advisory firm in connection with its dispute with a retiring partner wishing to withdraw his resignation notice, and holding another departing partner to his garden leave by obtaining undertakings from him.

  • Acted for Vestra Wealth LLP against UBS Wealth Management in one of the largest team moves seen in the City of London and in respect of which UBS issued an application for injunctive relief to prevent the move from happening. The principles derived from the case are now routinely used both by parties wishing to orchestrate a team move and parties wishing to prevent them

  • Acted in international arbitral proceedings for a former English partner of a US law firm in his claim for capital contributions, in conjunction with US lawyers.

  • Advised a law firm operating as an ABS on its conversion to LLP. This involved advising on and putting in place new constitutional arrangements to reflect the strategic priorities of the client.

  • Advised Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP on its transatlantic combination with US firm Hunton & Williams LLP to form Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

  • Advised our client, a Switzerland headquartered law firm, on the structuring and establishment of its London office.

  • Advised Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati P.C. on the establishment of its London office.

Professional services FAQs

Although partners and LLP members do not enjoy protection from unfair dismissal and other employee protections, they are protected against discrimination on the same basis as employees in connection with their partnership or membership and offers of partnership or membership.

Not necessarily, but it is rare that the rules which apply to an LLP without a members’ agreement will be suitable. For example, there is no ability to expel a member from an LLP unless there is an agreement in place, even if that member is clearly guilty of conduct which would justify such an action. Also, the absence of a written agreement risks conversations and emails creating an agreement piecemeal, leading to uncertainty and potential confusion.

We have assisted many international law firms establish themselves in London and go on to advise on an ongoing basis on various aspects of running an English law firm, including advice on regulation, employment matters, real estate and other business needs.

Our team is among the most experienced in the City in advising US law firms and we are unique in the depth of expertise and experience across all of the services that we provide.

An ABS or ‘alternative business structure’ is the term given to law firms that have been approved to have non-lawyer owners. ABSs offer law firms great flexibility in ownership structures, from appointing a senior non-lawyer employee to partnership, or taking outside investment, potentially including a stock market listing. International firms are increasingly using the flexibility of ABSs to better join their international offices together in a single ownership structure.

"One of the very best teams in the field. A wonderful firm with real knowledge and expertise."

Legal 500 2024

"They are very good in understanding our commercial aims and working to find solutions to achieve those."

Chambers UK 2024



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