The recent decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) in BlueCrest Capital Management (UK) LLP v HMRC (29 June 2022) is the first time the UK’s salaried member rules (the Rules) have been considered in the context of an asset management limited liability partnership (LLP). BlueCrest is engaged in providing hedge fund investment management services. In summary, the FTT found that certain of BlueCrest’s members who were responsible for managing significant investment portfolios had ‘significant influence’ over the affairs of the LLP, irrespective of whether that influence on a financial level amounted to managerial influence over the whole of the LLP’s affairs, such that those members were not salaried members (but that other members who were not engaged in portfolio management did not have significant influence for these purposes, as explained below).
The decision in respect of the significant influence condition for portfolio managers will be welcomed by asset management LLPs. However, it is generally expected that HMRC will appeal the decision, particularly given that it appears to be at odds with HMRC’s approach, as set out in the HMRC Partnership Manual, that only members involved in the top level management of an LLP should treated as having significant influence over its affairs.