Deloitte hires senior Magic Circle partner to lead legal push

23 January 2019 3 min. read
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Deloitte has continued its push into the legal sector with the hiring of a new Managing Partner for Deloitte Legal in the UK. Magic circle stalwart Michael Castle arrives at the firm following two decades of service with Allen & Overy.

The Big Four, the world’s largest consulting and accounting firms – consisting of Deloitte, PwCKPMG and EY – could draw an annual revenue of $30 billion from legal services, were they to fully expand into the market. With examples of the disruption the gang of four have already wrought in the digital, design and consulting spaces, the quartet have already shown they are capable of entering new industries and consolidating their market share, and by leveraging practice areas they already serve.

In this regard, the Big Four are already gaining legal market share at a rapid pace by providing legal services in tax, finance, M&A (for lower value deals) and labour. The Big Four’s legal divisions are already larger than most law firms and – as consulting firm forays into the advertising world have similarly shown – an enlarged workforce is one major route to winning over new clients. EY recently struck a deal to purchase Riverview Law, as the professional services giant works to expand its legal offering. PwC boasts a total of 3,500 lawyers, while Deloitte has around 2,000.

Deloitte hires senior Magic Circle partner to lead legal push

In a bid to keep pace with its competitors and eat into the market share of existing legal firms, Deloitte unveiled its intention to expand its legal services offering in the UK in early 2018. The plans were said to allow the multifaceted firm to bring its legal arm closer to its other services, such as audit and consulting. That was expected to increase Deloitte’s access to the coveted $600 billion global legal market – adding to Deloitte’s already substantial client base in the world-wide consulting industry, which is itself valued between $100 billion to $300 billion, depending on definition.

One year on, as Deloitte continues to forge ahead into the legal sphere, it has appointed veteran Allen & Overy Banking Partner Michael Castle as Managing Partner for Deloitte Legal. The legal sector veteran spent the best part of 20 years with the Magic Circle law firm, and will lend significant clout to Deloitte’s bid to expand into the market. Having joined Allen & Overy in 1999, Castle held the role of Partner for 11 years during his stint with the firm.

Commenting on the new arrival, Matt Ellis, Managing Partner for Tax and Legal, Deloitte North West Europe, said, “We have sky-high ambitions for Deloitte Legal in the UK, and this is why it is excellent to have someone of Michael’s calibre at the helm to build our presence and grow our distinctive suite of legal offerings."