KPMG is to set up a legal consultancy arm in the UK, the ‘Big Four’ professional services firm revealed, as it reported strong growth in its global legal services business.
The legal consultancy is expected to launch in the next few months, though the firm has not yet disclosed further details.
This is but the latest signal of intent from the ‘Big Four’ and follows last month’s news that rival firm Deloitte has hired a former magic circle partner to lead its UK legal arm.
KPMG’s UK consulting arm will be part of the Legal Operations & Transformation Services (LOTS) offering, which KPMG says helps in-house counsel identify ‘technologies, flexible resources and managed services that can support delivery of legal services’.
In a separate announcement this morningm, KPMG said ‘rising demands’ for legal services had resulted in revenue growth for its global legal services arm of more than 30%. The practice now has more than 2,300 legal professionals worldwide, including more than 20 new partners added during 2018, it added.
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.’
He added: ‘We expect continued growth in 2019 as we eagerly meet the evolving needs of clients across the globe. Increasingly, our clients are being asked to implement business transformation programmes that need an integrated approach that combines business and legal methodologies, not just pure legal advice. We understand this and are able to deliver.’
In January, the Gazette reported on the opening of a KPMG affiliated legal practice in Hong Kong. An associated Shanghai office is expected to follow later this year.