Accountancy giant Deloitte has officially entered the legal services market and become the final member of the ‘Big Four’ to create an alternative business structure.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has confirmed it has granted a licence for Deloitte to provide reserved legal services. The firm has said previously that it wants to provide managed services such as automated document review and contract management, and consulting services to help in-house legal departments to exploit new technology.
Legal services will be provided in employment law, tax litigation and immigration.
Deloitte is now licensed for rights of audience, conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities and administration of oaths.
The SRA has granted certain waivers on the basis of Deloitte already being regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to reduce the potential for unnecessary dual regulation.
The firm may carry on exempt regulated activities provided they arise out of or are complementary to the firm’s reserved legal activities or other legal activities.
Where a solicitor is engaged in legal activity that is not regulated activity, they should not act for a client where there is a conflict of interest, unless the client has given informed consent.
Rival big four firm PwC legal services has 17 partners, 31 directors and a 350-strong team in total, based in London, Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, with plans confirmed last year for further growth. KPMG and EY have also entered the legal market through alternative business structures.