KPMG has announced their latest expansion. The professional services firm has opened an associate law firm in Hong Kong, with future plans to open a further firm in Shanghai later this year.
The Hong Kong firm will be known as SF Lawyers. It plans to hire 4 senior lawyers and 2 senior associates over the upcoming months. Within a year however it plans on expanding to approximately 20 lawyers. The firm’s practice areas will centre around Corporate, M&A and infrastructure and projects.
The chair of KPMG Asia Pacific and China, Honson To, has said that KPMG’s global legal services network had grown by 30% in 2018 alone and has ’significant ambitions’ for further growth.
KPMG has about 1,800 lawyers in 75 jurisdictions. The company has set a target of nearly doubling the size of their legal services arm to around 3,000 lawyers over the next 3 years.
What about the others?
PwC: 3,600 lawyers in 98 countries. PwC has the largest legal arm of all of the big 4. It has made a strategic alliance with Fragomen, (immigration law firm) with offices in 25 countries, to cater to their growing demand for tax and immigration advice to their business traveller clients.
Deloitte: more than 2,400 lawyers. The firm recently launched its Legal Management Consulting services line, which combines consultancy advice, with risk advisory and legal expertise.
EY: 2,200 lawyers in 81 countries. They have recently purchased Riverview Law with a view to integrate their legal services with their digitised professional services.
Richard Susskind, author of Tomorrow’s Lawyers:
“What’s interesting about the Big Four is their commitment to new technology. They come to a market where they have no legacy to protect, so they are able to start with a blank sheet of paper. It seems to me self-evident that the Big Four will be hoping to emerge as market leaders in legal technology.”