Big four professional services firm EY is forging ahead with plans to expand its UK legal services arm with the appointment of another sector heavyweight.

Richard Goold (pictured), who heads Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co’s US desk and co-chairs its firm-wide tech sector group, will join EY as a partner this spring.

According to EY’s announcement, Goold will ‘lead and grow’ a legal tech team and support the firm’s ‘wider’ tech and fintech markets.

Philip Goodstone, head of EY’s UK legal services said: ‘Our ambition has always been to grow our UK legal services practice around some of the key sectors where EY already has a wealth of experience.’

EY fintech leader Imran Gulamhuseinwala said the pace of change and innovation in the fintech industry over the last five years had been ‘astounding’ and that it had become a ‘growing industry’ for the UK economy.

Gulamhuseinwala said: ‘Investing in our own business through top talent like Richard will ensure that we are well positioned to help companies as they seek to capitalise on this opportunity.’

The latest hire comes shortly after EY snapped up Matthew Whalley, previously head of risk at international firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, to spearhead EY’s legal risk practice.

EY was licensed to provide legal services in England and Wales as an alternative business structure in December 2014. Three of the big four - EY, PwC and KPMG - now offer legal services armed with an ABS licence and are viewed as an emerging competitive threat to mid-tier law firms in particular.

Last month EY Law’s Matthew Kellett, head of law, financial services, told the Gazette it suited the firm ‘that people cannot figure us out or have not done so yet’.