LLP Conversion

Overview

Changes made on 29 November 2008

In common with other professional services firms, Bird & Bird has converted to limited liability partnership (LLP) status under English law. This change took effect on 29 November 2008 and applies to our businesses in the UK, and also in Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands, which are branch offices of the new LLP. Our office in Spain has become its own separate limited liability partnership under English law. Our office in France became an association d'avocats à responsabilité professionnelle individuelle (AARPI) on 1 December 2008. All our businesses in other countries, namely our Czech, Finnish, Chinese, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Slovakian and Swedish businesses, have not changed, and will be separate legal entities affiliated with Bird & Bird LLP.

Reason for changes

The main reason for the changes is to enable us to trade with limited liability – we consider it is more appropriate that the firm’s assets only are at risk rather than the personal assets of our members (formerly partners). Also, the international nature and size of our business make adopting a corporate structure more practical. Converting to LLP status does not affect the delivery or quality of service that we provide and nor does it fundamentally change the way in which we operate or work with you. We remain committed to providing a client service that is fully integrated and consistent across all the jurisdictions in which we operate. The conversion simply means that clients are being advised by a firm which has adopted a modern corporate structure. This will confer the benefit of limited liability on partners. Clients' Bird & Bird contacts remain the same and we will be ensuring that none of these arrangements affects clients' day-to-day dealings with us. The existing partnership in the UK, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands stopped taking on new business on 29 November 2008 and Bird & Bird LLP is now responsible to clients for all new and current work, in place of the partnership Bird & Bird, or any of its partners.

Clients with matters current at date of conversion to Bird & Bird LLP and Bird & Bird (Spain) LLP

The business, assets and liabilities of Bird & Bird general partnership, which carried on the practice in England and Wales, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands were transferred to Bird & Bird LLP on 29 November 2008 (the 'transfer date'). This paragraph is only relevant to you if you were a client of Bird & Bird general partnership from offices in those countries prior to the transfer date in respect of a matter then current. In that case Bird & Bird's outstanding services on all matters for you which were current at the transfer date are to be carried out by Bird & Bird LLP and generally your rights under your agreement will be exercisable by you only against the LLP. Unless we agree with you otherwise, any previous terms of engagement with you will continue to apply to work carried out after the transfer date on matters then current, subject to (a) your engagement now being with Bird & Bird LLP, (b) references in those terms of engagement (or elsewhere, in writing or orally), before or after the transfer date, to partners being construed as mentioned above, (c) references in those terms of engagement to Bird & Bird being construed as references to Bird & Bird LLP, (d) that in relation to any liability cap under such terms of engagement in whatever amount the liability cap will apply to the entire performance of the engagement by the predecessor general partnership of Bird & Bird, Bird & Bird LLP, our affiliated businesses and all other succeeding practice structures – for example, there will not be separate aggregate limits of liability applicable to the predecessor general partnership of Bird & Bird and Bird & Bird LLP, and (e) such other necessary or consequential variations which we shall notify to you. Bird & Bird LLP has been provided with all client money, information, records and data necessary to enable it to carry out our services and for related purposes.

The above paragraph applies similarly to the transfer of the business, assets and liabilities of Bird & Bird, a general partnership, which carried on the practice in Spain ("Bird & Bird, Spain"), being a separate entity from that carrying on business in England and Wales, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands , to Bird & Bird (Spain) LLP on 29 November 2008 which now carries on all of the such previous business in succession to Bird & Bird, Spain, and which has assumed all of Bird & Bird, Spain's obligations to you if you were a client of Bird & Bird, Spain prior to the transfer date in respect of a matter then current.

Material produced prior to date of conversion to Bird & Bird LLP

Before 29 November 2008, Bird & Bird, carrying on the practice in England and Wales, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands was a general partnership constituted under the laws of England and Wales. Some documents on this website were produced before that date. Nothing on this web site or in those documents is to be taken to indicate that Bird & Bird LLP or any of its limited liability affiliated businesses are unlimited liability undertakings or general partnerships.

Information about you held prior to date of conversion to Bird & Bird LLP

Information about you held by Bird & Bird general partnership will have been transferred to Bird & Bird LLP on 29 November 2008. Bird & Bird LLP and its affiliated businesses will control and be responsible for that information from that date onwards and will use that information to continue to operate and conduct the practice. For further information about how we use your personal information, including your right to access and correct that information, please see Privacy.

Bird & Bird AARPI

On 1 December 2008 our office in France became an association d'avocats à responsabilité professionnelle individuelle (AARPI).