KPMG to launch legal services offering in UK

KPMG International has reported record growth for its global legal services offering, and indicated it plans to extend its services this year, including in the UK where it will launch a legal consultancy arm

Although no figures were released, KPMG said revenues were up by more than 30% and KPMG’s legal practice grew to more than 2,300 legal professionals worldwide last year, including the addition of more than 20 new partners.

Jürg Birri, KPMG’s global head of legal services, said: ‘As our 2018 results demonstrate, this integrated approach to addressing legal challenges is in high demand.

‘We expect continued growth in 2019 as we eagerly meet the evolving needs of clients across the globe, including high-growth markets like China.

‘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 KPMG announced the opening of a KPMG affiliated legal practice in Hong Kong, with SF Lawyers remaining an independent law firm within its global legal services structure. An associated Shanghai office is expected to follow later this year.

KPMG said it will be focusing on widening its legal operations and transformation services (LOTS)  team which supports in-house counsel to identify ‘technologies, flexible resources and managed services that can support delivery of legal services’.

They will advise on matters such as legal tech, flexible resourcing, automation, risk management, business development, document management and regulatory compliance.

This service is already provided by KPMG in Australia, Germany and Switzerland and is set to launch in the UK. The team will be made up of former general counsel, legal project managers, business process engineers and applied legal technologists.

Birri 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, where we work collectively with our clients who are looking for local and multijurisdictional counsel.

‘This combined approach, our local depth in each market, together with the benefit of the global platform of KPMG, is a clear differentiator and a great advantage to our clients.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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