oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - The Cape and Natal special partnerships limited liability acts. A statutory history

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



The origins of the Cape Special Partnerships Limited Liability Act of 1861 and the Natal Special Partnerships Limited Liability Act of 1864 have been open to question for quite some time in South Africa. The view that it was taken over directly from the United Kingdom cannot be supported. This contribution traces the origins of this legislation through the limited partnership legislation of New Zealand and Australia, back to the influential New York Limited Partnerships Act of 1822, and even further back to the very first limited partnership legislation in a common-law jurisdiction, namely the Irish Anonymous Partnerships Act of 1781, French Code de Commerce and Louis XIV's Ordinance Pour le Commerce of 1673. This supports a conclusion that in the latter Ordinance, limited partnership legislation and the partnership encommandite ultimately share a remote ancestor. In addition, attention is drawn briefly to the fortunes of the Natal and, especially, the Cape legislation in South Africa and four other jurisdictions in Southern Africa.

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