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Why a 'green socks' clause in practice?

The main benefit of a partnership agreement is that it allows the practice to list the circumstances under which it can expel a partner without going through the difficult and expensive process of dissolving the entire partnership.

Most partnership breakdowns occur due to factors specific to that particular practice ­ for some reason, one partner just does not fit in.

This can happen for many reasons, ranging from the purely clinical (differences of opinion on antibiotic prescribing), through workload

issues (one partner conspicuously failing

to pull his or her weight) to personality clashes.

Practices can plan in advance for this possibility by including a clause stating that any partner can be expelled if all of the other partners vote to expel them.

This can be for quite idiosyncratic reasons ­ hence the colloquial term for a clause of this type.

A green socks clause can prove extremely useful if you can cope with the fact that it may be used against you yourself in the future. Also it has to operate within the bounds of employment legislation such as the Sex Discrimination Act.

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