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Accountancy giant Deloitte enters legal services market

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Final member of the ‘Big Four’ granted ABS status

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Accountancy giant Deloitte has been awarded an alternative business structure (ABS) licence, six months after it unveiled plans to go head-to-head with law firms.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has approved Deloitte’s application to operate as a multi-disciplinary practice. The licence — which came into effect on 15 June — allows the firm to provide reserved legal services in the UK, namely rights of audience, conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities and administration of oaths.

Today’s confirmation means all ‘Big Four’ bean counters now have a legal arm. PwC‘s legal operation secured ABS status at the start of 2014, while KPMG and EY received SRA approval later that same year.

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For those of you looking for a training contact, Deloitte has yet to announce whether it will be offering them. In January, when its ABS ambitions were first unveiled, Deloitte told Legal Cheek the matter was “under review”.

Its rivals, however, do offer them.

PwC currently takes on around 25 rookies annually, while EY offers a training contract which you don’t need a 2:1 to apply for. KPMG announced back in 2015 it was offering training contracts but remained tight-lipped about exact numbers.

Back to Deloitte and this month it announced an alliance with US immigration law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) to create a new global immigration service. The move sees Deloitte take over eight of BAL’s non-US offices, in: the UK, Singapore, Australia, Dubai, China, South Africa, Mozambique and Brazil.

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8 Comments

Anonymous

Great idea… The other three Top 4 are making a killing on commoditised work…

(4)(0)

Anonymous

The Big 4 should be broken up. They are disgraceful organisations.

(5)(3)

Anonymous

can you elaborate on this?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The Big 4 are shameless money-grabbers who have put so many people out of jobs, just look at KPMG/Deloitte and Carillion or EY and their long list to controversial actions. The sooner they go bust, the better

(27)(5)

Anonymous

The Big 4 are “shameless money grabbers” who put people out of work? Said by a lawyer/aspiring lawyer?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

(3)(5)

Anonymous

Difference is Big 4 are at best extremely mediocre in intelligence and just use scale, while providing no better service than a small independent company. Yes, happens in law too, but that is not corporate law’s business model.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

I doubt any law firms involved made anywhere near much money as the Big 4 did from the Carillion fiasco (or the events leading up to it). Or Conviviality. Or any of the other carcasses that the Big 4 feasted on. Corporate law firms are no angels either but the Big 4 are a different four-headed beast entirely

Ever wonder what happens when you have an oligopoly like the UK currently has in the audit industry, which isn’t really the case for the legal market? I don’t know if there’s a website called Audit Cheek but if there is, please go back there. We already have enough mindless commentators on here as it is, we don’t want to dilute the water even more.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Why would I go to Audit Cheek? I’m a lawyer. Just not a naive or paranoid lawyer.

And if you think the big disasters are the measure of an industry’s gouging and bloodsucking, think again. US, MC and SC firms charge huge numbers for routine work day in, day out.

Why are damages so often dwarfed by costs in litigation? Why is so much of a business project’s budget allocated to legal advice? Why are so many parts of the CPR dedicated to costs?

Because lawyers are shameless money-grabbers.

(1)(2)

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