One of the Big Four accountancy firms offering legal services through an alternative business structure has reported a sharp rise in income from the division and pledged further heavy investment.

KPMG says in its newly published annual report that it continues to see ‘strong growth potential’ in its fledgling legal services division, in which net sales climbed 53% in the year to 30 September.

The division said it experienced increased demand across its three areas of focus – corporate and commercial, tax litigation and employment and immigration.

The report adds: ‘Despite [this growth] being from a relatively low base, it’s clear that clients really like our idea of wrapping multi-disciplinary legal advice around our other propositions.

’We continue to invest heavily in new hires to build the business in both existing and new areas, such as corporate crime and regulation, and to extend our national coverage.’

The firm did not disclose more detailed figures.  Upon being granted an ABS licence in October 2014, KPMG pledged to triple the number of lawyers in the division to 150 within three years. The firm currently has 88 fee-earners within Legal Services, including solicitors, barristers and immigration specialists.

Three of the Big Four - EY, PwC and KPMG - now offer legal services armed with an ABS licence. They are viewed as an emerging competitive threat to mid-tier law firms in particular