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Senior Partner

Q: I am confused about who will be the senior partner at my practice. Another partner and I joined the practice at the same time. However the original senior partner is about to retire and we are the two partners next in line to her. Can you advise on what basis one of us should be designated as the next senior partner? There is nothing in the partnership deed to guide us over this.

A: As this is not covered in the partnership deed and there is nothing specific about this in the Partnership Act 1890 either, the decision is in your hands.

Under the Act, all partners are deemed to be of equal standing on the basis that they are all jointly and severally liable.

However, one partner has to agree to stand as a 'precedent partner' for the purposes of signing the partnership's annual tax return.

I suggest you decide between you that the partner who takes on this responsibility should also be entitled to adopt the title of senior partner.

That said, as all partnership decisions have to be agreed unanimously by all the partners, being the senior partner will amount to nothing more than a complimentary title as it does not offer any real power.

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