Following preparatory work undertaken by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority to establish the enabling framework for the introduction of Limited Liability Partnerships, the Minister for Justice and Equality signed the necessary commencement order to commence chapter 3 of part 8 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 on the 7th of October 2019. The Chief Executive and Chairperson of the LSRA have now signed the Legal Services Regulation Act (Limited Liability Partnerships) (Section 130) Regulation 2019 (S.I. number 519/2019).

Under Section 125 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 (“2015 Act”), a relevant business can apply to the LSRA for authorisation to operate as a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). Where an LLP has been properly authorised, each partner will not (as a result of being a partner in the LLP or being held out as a partner in the LLP) be personally liable directly or indirectly for the debts, obligations or liabilities arising in contract, tort or otherwise of – (a) the LLP itself, (b) himself or herself, (c)  another partner in that LLP or (d) any employee, agent or representative of that LLP.

Section 99 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 defines the relevant business as a partnership of solicitors or a legal partnership.

There are exceptions to the limited liability status under the 2015 Act. These exceptions include where the relevant debt, obligation or liability arises from an act or omission of a partner which involves fraud or dishonesty and which was either the subject of a finding of misconduct or a criminal conviction and where the debt, obligation or liability was incurred by a partner for a purpose that is not related to the business of the LLP. Equally, if the debt, obligation or liability incurred relates to any tax within the meaning of Section 960A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, the limitation of liability will not apply.

Section 124 of the 2015 Act provides that enforcement action can still be taken against the property of the LLP in respect of any debt, obligation or liability. Section 124 (2) relates to the transfer of property out of the joint ownership of the partners and states that this will constitute a conveyance for the purposes of section 74 of the Land and Conveyancing Reform Act 2009 and section 7 of the Bankruptcy Act 1988.

The firm of M.W. Keller & Son Solicitors LLP has been authorised to practice as a Limited Liability Partnership as and from the 3rd of February 2020. For any further queries please don’t hesitate to contact Thomas Norris by phone (051 877029), by email (tom@mwkeller.ie) or by filling out our contact form.

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