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Partnerships Law: Reform

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 20 July 2006

My right honourable friend the Minister for Trade Investment and Foreign Affairs (Ian McCartney) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission published a report on partnership law reform in November 2003 (Law Com No 283; Scot Law Com No 192). It included recommendations in respect of general partnership law and limited partnership law, together with a draft Bill designed to replace both the Partnership Act 1890 and the Limited Partnerships Act 1907. I am very grateful for the Law Commissions’ detailed and thorough work.

The DTI followed this with a consultation document on the economic impact of reform of partnership law. Respondents to the consultation were divided on the economic benefits of the proposed reforms to the business community. A summary of responses is being published on the DTI website at www.dti.gov.uk/bbf/ corpgovernance/partnership/page25911.html. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House.

The Government have carefully considered the report from the Law Commissions and the consultation responses, and intend to bring forward proposalsfor the reform of limited partnership law based onthe Law Commissions' recommendations. The recommendations for limited partnership reform have been widely supported and there is a strong economic case for taking them forward. The reforms are not dependent on the proposed reforms for general partnership law, which the Government have decided not to take forward at this time.

The Government aim to take forward the reforms to limited partnership law by means of a regulatory reform order when parliamentary time allows, and to publish a consultation document containing draft clauses shortly.