[Thanks to Catriona Stirling of Cloisters Chambers for preparing this case summary]
The EAT (Langstaff J) has handed down its decision in Williamson & Soden Solicitors v Briars, which is authority for the proposition that agreement by an employee of a firm to be remunerated by way of profit share, does not necessarily make him a partner. The question to be determined is whether he comes within the definition of employee, which principally involves consideration of the question of control, in the sense of distinguishing between "those who are bosses and those who are bossed".
Mr Briars was originally an employee. He later agreed to be remunerated by "profit share". The ET held that he remained an employee. In doing so, it did not refer expressly to the Partnership Act 1890 and did not ask at the outset whether the definition given in that Act for partnership, which was "carrying on a business in common with a view of profit", had been satisfied. The Respondent claimed that the tribunal had erred in law in failing to do so.
The EAT dismissed the appeal. The question was whether the solicitor was an employee, which was a question of fact to be determined by applying the appropriate legal tests. It was not a rule of law that the tribunal must have regard to the definition given in the Act or refer expressly to the Act in so doing.