Accountancy giant KPMG today confirmed the creation of a ‘one-stop shop’ for professional services after securing an alternative business structure licence.
The firm, which has more than 50 lawyers in its legal team including four partners, was granted the ABS by the Solicitors Regulation Authority today.
It now plans to expand the legal services it offers for existing clients – although the company has stressed it has no plans to create a standalone legal practice.
KPMG becomes the second of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms to set up an ABS, after PwC took the same route earlier this year. It is the first to market itself as a multi-disciplinary practice.
Simon Collins, UK chairman of KPMG, said: ‘The multi-disciplinary ABS licence enables us to enhance and increase the legal services we offer our clients. We are taking a focused approach: our key market differentiator is that we will only offer legal services which are fully integrated with other areas where we already provide advice.
‘The new regulatory regime, designed to open up the provision of professional services across the sector, allows us to extend our legal services provision where we have a proven and successful track record.’
KPMG has had non-practising solicitors working in its tax and pensions practice for the past decade, providing legal advice primarily in the area of tax litigation.
In recent years the team has expanded to cover corporate, commercial, immigration and employment matters with plans to move into other areas where clients demand an integrated service.
The existing legal team brought in £10m in revenues in the last year and now has plans to recruit more lawyers.
Richard Collins, SRA executive director, added: ‘The vehicle KPMG has created to deliver a range of professional services in a one-stop shop is exactly the kind of entity envisaged when the Legal Services Act was introduced.
‘We believe ABSs of this type will benefit consumers by providing greater competition in the provision of legal services, greater opportunities to access holistic services, and potential reductions in cost by services being made available in one place.’
KPMG operates from 22 offices across the UK with around 11,500 partners and staff. It recorded a £1.8bn turnover in the year ending September 2013.
The partners leading legal services at KPMG are: Amanda Brown, who leads the tax litigation practice, David White, who heads the corporate and commercial team, Punam Birly, who leads the employment and immigration group, and Nick Roome, who joined the firm in May this year and heads KPMG’s legal services business in the north.