Why are lawyers increasingly joining the Big 4?
Posted by Kerry Price
The last few years have seen many changes in the legal landscape, with law firms having to be more competitive than ever. Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC have invested heavily in their legal services arms in recent years – particularly in Europe – and now collectively employ about 8,500 lawyers globally. With the gap closing between Magic Circle and City law firms, the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms and their legal teams truly stand out for offering a unique tailored service to clients. Not only do they hold great power in their brand that instantly opens doors, they offer a complete end-to-end solution for their clients – one that cannot be matched by a traditional law firm. A multidisciplinary service is provided by the Big 4 legal teams by combining their skills and knowledge with the firm’s world-class business advisory services, enabling them to work at the heart of every client and their business. Together with their global presence and ability to provide a one-stop-shop, the nature of the work is often not only international and cross-border but of extremely high calibre. So how does this benefit Lawyers? Personally, having successfully helped many Lawyers transition into the Big 4, the environment is commonly described as private practice but without all the politics. The setting in a Big 4 is incomparable, creating almost a halfway house between traditional private practice and in-house. What do I mean by this? You’re still offered the opportunity to work with multiple clients, ensuring that your remit is broad and involves varied work, but also taking a different approach to business development and utilising the vast internal network opposed to the traditional external business development – A much easier way to build your practice! Client secondments both in the UK and overseas are also frequent and encouraged. Key attractions for the Big 4, specifically for Lawyers coming from a Magic Circle firm, are their capability to provide a genuinely flexible approach to working from home/remotely as well as providing in-depth technical and professional training, whilst maintaining a high calibre of work. While the Big 4 have historically focused on practices that complement their audit and tax advisory businesses, such as tax, labour and employment, and immigration, the report finds that they are increasingly branching out into other areas, including M&A. Particularly busy and areas of growth include; Corporate, Banking, and Finance, Data Protection, TMT, Intellectual Property, Real Estate, Employment, Private Client. If you would like to discuss a potential move into the Big 4, you are welcome to contact me directly on 020 7269 6344 or via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org