LLP provisions revised

Limited liability partnership provisions of the Partnership Act and the Legal Profession Act have been changed, retroactive to January 17, 2005, by Bill 16, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2) SBC 2005, c. 35.

First, the Act has clarified that a limited liability partnership is not exempt from the liability provisions of section 12 of the Partnership Act — that is, the LLP is liable for the actions of the firm’s partners.

For law firm LLPs, there is a further change. Section 84(1) of the Legal Profession Act has been amended to reflect that a lawyer’s liability for his or her own professional negligence is not affected by the fact that the lawyer practises through a law corporation or a limited liability partnership. Prior to the amendment, the section failed to recognize any limitation on the liability of a lawyer who practises in an LLP, which was not the intent of the legislation.

Section 84(1), amendment italicized, reads:

84 (1) The liability of a lawyer, carrying on the practice of law, for his or her own professional negligence is not affected by the fact that the lawyer is carrying on that practice

(a) as an employee, shareholder, officer, director or contractor of a law corporation or on its behalf, or

(b) through a limited liability partnership.