PracticeConsultingErnst & Young is first LLP.

Ernst & Young is first LLP.

Big Five firm's move to limited liability partnership status regarded as a welcome boost to business

Ernst & Young became the very first organisation to be issued with a limited liability partnership certificate as the new corporate status went live on 6 April.

In all, 18 LLP certificates were issued by Companies House on the first day of the new status, clearly indicating that some partnerships were keen to go public with their accounts in return for limited liability status and improvements in their tax positions.

Ernst & Young has been a long-term lobbyist for LLPs and was heavily involved in government consultation.

Under LLP status, liability shifts to a corporate body – a major step forward for partners seeking more protection and to reduce their own risk.

In a recent interview with Accountancy Age, Nick Land, E&Y’s UK chairman, said: ‘I think it is easy for people to forget that in our profession… there was real concern that, in an increasingly litigious environment, the law was unfair to us. The doctrine of joint and several liability is a pretty harsh doctrine.’

Kim Howells, minister for competition and consumer affairs, was quick to welcome E&Y’s move to LLP. ‘The new structure is likely to benefit a wide range of businesses, including start-ups. It gives members the freedom to arrange their internal relationships as they wish while retaining the benefit of limited liability,’ he said.

‘The government has consulted widely before introducing this legislation.

I am confident the Act and regulations strike the right balance between the interests of those who want to become limited liability partnerships and those will do business with them.’

Interview: Ernst & Young’s Nick Land on LLPs www.accountancyage.com/business/1119816.

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