A great deal of my work concerns advising and assisting partners who are exiting from a partnership, wish to do so, or have already done so.
Partnership exits sometimes give rise to underlying problems, issues or matters that need to be addressed:
- Partnership dissolution
- Interpretation of the provisions of any partnership agreement (written or oral)
- Garden leave/suspension
- Disputed partnership accounts
- Bad faith
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Discrimination (age, sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, religion/no religion)
- Harassment and bullying
- Breach of/release from restrictive covenants
- Equitable compensation
- Other compensation
- Reputational issues
- Regulatory issues
There are often a number of key legal questions, the answers to which can have a radical effect on the outcome. These fundamental legal issues are not always apparent to the parties. They should be identified and considered as early as possible so that mistakes are avoided.
The provisions of any partnership agreement will not provide all of the answers. The Partnership Act 1890 imposes additional rules on partnerships. There is also an overlay of over a century of judge-made case law which interprets and supplements the Partnership Act. An area that often arises in partnership exits is dissolution/winding up of the partnership, which is not always fully understood by partners.
Other statutes and regulations create extensive further rights and obligations, and again there is an overlay of case law which adds both complexity and clarity.
It is important to gain an understanding at the very outset as to the relative strengths and weaknesses of your case or position, before any steps are taken. A strategy can then be designed and implemented with a view to maximising the prospects of achieving a resolution at an early stage, at reasonable cost and on terms which achieve your desired objectives so far as possible.
I have experience of acting for clients exiting from partnerships in a wide variety of business sectors including professional practices (solicitors, accountants, surveyors, patent attorneys, doctors, dentists), corporate finance, investment advisory, investment management, property investment/development, construction, music industry, leisure, farming, retail, and care homes.