Conversion of LSGA Solicitors to Branch Austin LLP
Updated: Jan 8
We are pleased to inform you that the business of LSGA Solicitors will convert from a partnership and be transferred to a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) known as Branch Austin LLP on Monday 11 January 2021. With effect from 11 January 2021, we shall use the trading name of “Branch Austin”. As some of you are already aware, after more than 30 years at 35 Piccadilly, we have also recently moved to our new address which is 32 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1HD. Our telephone and fax numbers remain unchanged. This page sets out further information in relation to the change.
Reasons for Change
An LLP structure is the preferred corporate structure for professional services firms and a very significant number of UK law firms have converted in recent years. We believe it is right for us to also convert to this structure, to provide the firm with a transparent and modern business platform for the future. As part of the change to an LLP, we considered it would be a good time to change our trading name to “Branch Austin” as this better reflects who our firm is today. There will be no significant change to the operation or management of the firm and the only obvious change will be to our registered name, which has been authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
From 11 January 2021, Branch Austin LLP will take on all the obligations and liabilities of LSGA. All fee earners and other employees will automatically transfer across and continue to work as usual to progress the matters on which the Partnership was instructed on your behalf. Branch Austin will assume responsibility for these matters going forward and in practical terms, it will be very much business as usual. The change will not affect the services we provide. We have adopted new email addresses in the style of [initials of recipient]@branchaustin.com although our existing LSGA email addresses will be forwarded for some time.
The conversion will affect the personal liability of partners. The partners are personally liable for claims against the firm, but they will not be personally liable for claims against the LLP. To compensate for that loss the SRA requires all LLPs to take out additional professional indemnity insurance cover, and we have already complied with that requirement.
New Terms of Business apply to all new work which the LLP is instructed to undertake on or after Monday 11 January 2021. Our Terms of Business are in fact reviewed and updated annually in any event and a copy of the new Terms of Business will be made available to all clients who have existing matters with us. A link to our Terms of Business may also be found here.
From 11 January 2021, our letters, emails and bills will be in the name of Branch Austin LLP. If you currently have invoices outstanding, these will be automatically transferred to the LLP for collection.
Funds we are holding for you
If we hold any money on your behalf on client account on the conversion date, the money will be held after the conversion by Branch Austin LLP on your behalf on client account. The terms on which any monies are held, or the timing of any transactions, will not be affected.
To combat the risks of cyber fraud, please telephone the solicitor who deals with your matter to check our bank account details (even when these have been emailed to you) in the event these are required for a payment.
Your continuing instructions
We are proceeding with the conversion on the basis that your continuing instructions will be confirmation that you are content to instruct Branch Austin to act for you on the revised Terms of Business, and to hold any client monies on your behalf, after the conversion. That avoids the need to sign a new written agreement, but if you would prefer to sign a new agreement, please let us know. New terms of business will be issued in due course if you have not already received a copy.
You do not need to do anything unless you have a question or wish to discuss how the conversion will affect your particular circumstances.
In some situations, we may need to ask you sign an updated form of authority and the relevant fee earner will be in touch if that is the case.
Please get in touch with your usual contact at the firm if you have any queries.
We remain committed to providing you with a high quality of work and very much look forward to working with you in this new year and the future.
The Partners, Consultants and Staff at Branch Austin