Projects: Out in the open
The partnership status of law firms has always had a significant impact on the way they negotiate their property leases, and the process has long followed the same time-honoured path. But the advent of the limited liability partnership could change all that, says Philip Burroughs
For years, the manner in which law firms have held their leasehold real estate has followed a well-established route – the lease went into the names of a small number or, depending upon the size of the firm, all of the partners of the firm. The legal estate was vested in the first four named, with guarantees usually being given by the other equity partners. The property-holding partners would hold the lease on trust for the other partners in the firm under the terms of the part-nership agreement.
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