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Deloitte Legal to Add Around 86 UK Lawyers In Major Acquisition

Author: Simon Lock -Law.com International

… The Big Four professional services giant will take on all 29 partners from Kemp Little, as well as around 57 additional lawyers in a deal expected to be complete next quarter…
… The acquisition is a major boost in headcount for the U.K. legal arm of Deloitte. Globally, the Big Four firm currently has around 2,500 professionals operating in more than 80 countries…
…July article cited… The Financial Reporting Council is asking the so-called Big Four -- KPMG, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC and Ernst & Young -- to agree to operational separation to ensure audit practices don’t rely on “persistent cross-subsidy from the rest of the firm,”…
…July article cited… Audit practice culture should encourage ethical behavior, openness, teamwork and professional skepticism and judgment, the FRC said. Profits distributed to partners should not “persistently exceed the contribution to profits of the audit practice,” the FRC said…

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Editor Comment:

The acquisition announcement and effective doubling of Deloitte’s UK legal services group came as a bit of a surprise after the UK’s Financial Reporting Council forced the Big Four to separate their audit and service groups by 2024. This combined with Arizona’s August shift to allow nonlawyer ownership in law firms makes me wonder where the practice of law is headed in the long run. Over the decades I have seen many negatives in the traditional lawyer-owned, partner led law firm model. However, I have also recognized the non-monetary benefits of having practicing lawyers at the top of a firm. Too many times I have been the bearer of uncomfortable news from investigations or discovery audits. I would rather present findings to partners who understand their ethical obligations and value their personal reputations than an industry exec board more concerned with short term stock impact or shareholder anger.

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