KPMG UK plans to double its legal services headcount over the next three years. The news comes as KPMG looks to invest £300 million in growth of its services.
In the last five years, the push of the Big Four professional services firms have become ever more pronounced. Researchers estimated previously that if they were even “a fraction as successful in law as they were in consulting”, and built a combined 5% share of global income, the annual revenue from legal services for EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG could soon hit $30 billion.
In the last year in particular, KPMG has been looking to accelerate its drive into the legal space with an emphasis on technology-enabled legal services. Last year, an interview with Global Head of Tax and Legal Services David Linke confirmed KPMG was “investing more than $1 billion in tax and legal technology, specifically, to meet growing demand.”
In Britain, this has been tied into a £300 million investment strategy for KPMG UK, which is being driven by its new Chief Executive Jon Holt. The latest development of this has seen KPMG Law, the firm’s UK legal services business, announce plans to hire a further 220 lawyers by the end of 2024.
Including 45 senior lawyers at partner and director level, the recruitment campaign will see its headcount of practising solicitors hit more than 400. This would see KPMG’s UK legal offering account for 14% of the firm’s global legal business, which has more than 3,000 lawyers across 80 jurisdictions.
For KPMG in the UK, the growth of its legal wing is seen as a “critical element of its future growth strategy”, according to Nick Roome, Head of KPMG Law in the UK. He added that KPMG Law planned to expand in areas such as deals, financial services, technology, data and tax disputes.
Roome noted, “We’ve built an incredible team of real specialists and experts in their respective fields. We’re now focused on adding further depth and scale to our core offering and sector expertise, while also exploring new growth areas.”
Beyond KPMG, the rest of the UK’s four largest audit and advisory brands also grew their UK legal businesses in the last year. Deloitte acquired intellectual property law firm Kemp Little in 2021, bringing on board 80 new lawyers and doubling the Big Four firm’s UK legal headcount. Meanwhile, EY and PwC’s UK legal leadership set out ambitious plans to grow their legal businesses, as they look to conquer a bigger slice of the UK’s legal market.