KPMG legal consultancy coming to UK as global arm booms

12 February 2019 3 min. read
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KPMG has become the latest member of the Big Four to announce it will launch a legal consulting arm in the UK. The quartet have been gearing up for an assault on the lucrative market for some time, and already boast larger headcounts than many traditional law firms, while offering a more holistic, end-to-end service.

The Big Four, the world’s largest consulting and accounting firms – consisting of Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and EY – could draw an annual revenue of $30 billion from legal services if they fully expanded into the market. This tantalising opportunity has steadily drawn the quartet into the sector in recent years. With examples of the disruption the gang of four have already wrought in the digital, design and consulting spaces, they 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 have already gained a significant share of the legal market 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.KPMG legal consultancy coming to UK as global arm booms

Now, amid booming demand from multinational organisations for legal services, the final Big Four member, KPMG, has revealed that it too is set to launch a new legal consultancy arm in the UK. While the firm is yet to confirm a concrete date, the opening of KPMG UK’s legal wing is expected in the next few months of 2019, with the firm having reported strong growth in its global legal services business.

KPMG Global Legal Services reported record growth in 2018, skyrocketing by more than 30%. The practice now has in excess of 2,300 legal professionals worldwide, including more than 20 new Partners added during 2018. In order to meet the rising demand for its services, KPMG’s legal arm has also sought to continue its marked expansion of its talent base and network into 2019. January saw the opening of a KPMG affiliated legal practice – SF Lawyers, will be an independent law firm within the KPMG Global Legal Services structure – in Hong Kong, while an associated Shanghai office is expected to follow later this year.

Jürg Birri, KPMG’s Global Head of Legal Services, said, “Our approach is different. We’re not a traditional law firm, and we’re not copying the approach of a traditional law firm. We focus on offering our clients integrated legal advice and technology-led solutions and methodologies, in combination with a range of alternative legal managed services. We expect continued growth in 2019 as we eagerly meet the evolving needs of clients across the globe.”