Government puts limited liability legislation on hold

The government looks set to put limited liability partnerships on ice until the profession is independently regulated.

Competition minister Nigel Griffiths said there would be no limited liability legislation until there was a ‘proper debate’ in the Commons about the tax status of the Channel Islands and steps had been taken towards independent regulation of accountants.

Although the DTI denied this conflicted with earlier suggestions that plans for limited liability partnerships (LLPs) were imminent, the statement implies LLPs will be put on hold.

The Law Commission has already framed LLP legislation, and some sources expected the new laws to be enacted this spring.

There were also reports this week that DTI ministers were prepared to address ‘the entirely separate issue’ of changing the Companies Act to guarantee auditor proportionality. If such a principle were enshrined in the Act, which is being reviewed, auditors would no longer pay all the damages when companies fail after poor advice.

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