Deloitte in the United Kingdom is expanding its legal services offering, signalling the latest bid from a Big Four firm to move in on the territory of traditional law firms, the Financial Times reported. The move will help better integrate the firm’s legal arm with its auditing and consulting services.
The plans will also involve the firm increasing its access to a global legal services market valued at US$600 billion in 2016, compared with US$450 billion for accounting, according to New York-based consulting and legal analyst ALM Intelligence.
“There is room [in the market] for a lot of players and our competitors in the Big Four are already operating in this space,” Matt Ellis, Managing Partner for tax and legal at Deloitte, told the FT.
The leading law firms still earn more than the Big Four’s legal divisions, due to advising on bigger and more complex cases. Ellis said that Deloitte is not seeking to replicate a traditional law firm, but acknowledged that some players may be threatened by the firm’s legal offering, particularly law firms that rely on work outsourced by corporate counsel.