The collapse of Enron and the Andersen crisis are sending shock waves around the global business community. But what impact will the accountant's fall from grace have on the legal landscape? In a Legal Week special report Scott Neilson asks leading legal and accountancy figures what lessons can be learned from the Enron/Andersen affair in five key business areas
Limited liability partnerships (LLPs)Despite increasing interest, most UK law firms have so far held back when it comes to taking advantage of new legislation allowing LLPs. Will Enron help to concentrate minds?
The principal, and in some cases overwhelming, reason why firms might choose to become LLPs is protection from firm-busting ‘Armageddon’ legal claims. When a £600m writ arrives at their office as a result of an act by one of their colleagues, most partners will probably prefer to be in an LLP rather than an ordinary partnership. Faced with a straight choice of joining an LLP or a partnership of equal standing, prospective partners might now increasingly take the view that they are in a better position in the LLP in terms of liabilities that may be incurred by partners they barely know.
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