020 7387 2032

Traditionally, members of a partnership or a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) have their rights defined by the scope of the partnership agreement. However, recent developments have indicated their specific relationship with the partnership may afford them additional rights as a worker or employee.

As it is not uncommon for members of a partnership or LLP to transition in and out of a business undertaking, it is paramount that both the partnership entity and the member have a full grasp of the rights that arise out of their relationship from the outset in order to avoid contention at a later date.

Employee status

Whether or not a member of a partnership or LLP depends on the existence of a contract of employment between the member and the entity. A contract of employment must entail sufficient degrees of control over the employee, and the financial risk of the undertaking cannot disproportionately weigh on the employee. This may give rise to tension where the member also makes key governing decisions for the entity.

If considered an employee, a member will be protected from unfair dismissal. An unfair dismissal claim can arise where an employee is summarily dismissed without proper adherence to grievance procedures. It can also arise in the form of constructive dismissal, where an employee is subject to harassment or unfounded investigations in order to force them to quit.

LLP membership and worker status

In 2014, the UK Supreme Court held that members of an LLP who do not otherwise qualify as employees are entitled to worker status and accompanying protections. A worker has lesser protections than an employee, for example they cannot make an unfair dismissal claim. They are, however, protected against discrimination and harassment by their employer. A discrimination claim carries with it the potential for unlimited damages, which could prove fatal for a business undertaking.


The 2014 ruling, mentioned above, was in the context of whistleblowing over business activity that might constitute criminal activity, obstruction justice or harm the environment. As a result, an employer cannot take retaliatory action against a member on the basis of a good faith disclosure of information.

Consequences for partnerships and LLPs

As protections to partnership and LLP members expand, so too does the potential for claims being brought by aggrieved members. Worker and employee rights are protected by statute and can only be waived through formal settlement agreements. Leaving a partnership or LLP vulnerable to legal action has potential consequences for business reputation in additional to becoming involved in costly and time-consuming litigation.

Employment Law - Information on Fees

For information on fees and funding relating to Employment Law cases, please see our information page.

Contact our Employment Law Solicitors Mayfair and throughout London Today

At Lewis Nedas, our Employment Law Solicitors have over 40 years ’ experience in advising and representing national and international companies. Our Employment Lawyers have joined the Office Essential Network, which is a specialist organisation aimed at assisting young start-up businesses requiring advice on employment issues, including for partnerships and LLPs.

To speak to one of our Employment Specialists, please call us on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form.

key contacts

Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your email address.
Please enter a valid phone number
Invalid Input
Please let us know your message.
GDPR Agreement - I consent to the information supplied above to be stored on this website so that Lewis Nedas Law can respond to my enquiry.
Invalid Input

Top Ranked Lawyers: Legal 500 

Celebrating 40 years of practice in 2022, we are leaders in criminal defence, serious fraud, serious crime and many other areas of legal practice. We have been involved in many leading cases over the last 40+ years and are well known for our genuinely high acquittal rate and overall success rate. Please click the Legal 500 logo below for more information about our rankings.

We are happy to help

Get 24/7 Legal Advice, call

020 7387 2032

“I was put in touch with Lewis Nedas Law through a mutual friend and I was not disappointed. The team were nothing but straight forward, honest and realistic about the nature of my case and the expected outcome from the minute I got in contact and were willing to take over from the previous company at very short notice. With their unrivalled experience and expertise in their profession the outcome was even better than expected and I couldn’t recommend them enough.”

Accreditations and Awards

  • Legal 500 uk leading firm 2024
  • The Times Best Law Firms 2024
  • Legal 500 uk leading firm 2022 50x73
  • The Times Best Law Firms 2022
  • Google 5 stars