Partnership Law

Relevant or Related Legislation

The Partnership Act 1890 sets out the basic structure of partnership law. The Limited Partnerships Act 1907 introduced a second form of partnership, in which the liability of one or more of the partners could be limited, whilst also retaining general partners with unlimited liability.

Current consultation on limited partnerships

The Government proposes to modernise and simplify the law on limited partnerships, in line with recommendations made by the Law Commissions. The Limited Partnerships Act 1907 would be repealed and new provisions about limited partnerships inserted into the Partnership Act 1890.

Subject to the outcome of this consultation, we intend to make the proposed changes through a Legislative Reform Order under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006.

The consultation document is available below:


The deadline for responses is 21 November 2008.

Key Facts

In November 1997 the DTI requested the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission to undertake jointly a review of partnership law.

In September 2000 the two Commissions issued a Joint Consultation Paper on partnership law. The Paper set out proposals for the reform of the Partnership Act 1890. In October 2001 the two Commissions issued a further Joint Consultation Paper on proposals to reform the Limited Partnerships Act 1907. The two Commissions published their joint report on partnership law in November 2003. The report included a draft bill. The consultation papers and the report are available from the Law Commission’s website (link on the right of the screen).

On 30th April 2004 the Department invited interested parties to provide information on the possible economic benefits and costs of the Law Commissions' proposals.

On 20 July 2006 the Government announced its decision to implement the limited partnership law reforms recommended by the Law Commissions in their joint report. The recommendations in respect of general partnership law reform will not be taken forward at this time.