EY Law’s Aggressive Growth Plans

EY Law's Aggressive Growth Plans 2
EY Law's Aggressive Growth Plans 8

The movement of the Big Four accounting firms into the legal space continues strongly and none moreso than EY who are planning rapid expansion of their legal division.

Bloomberg Big Law report that EY’s John Knox, Singapore-based and who became EY’s new global legal managed services leader in July, is working to grow the legal division fast.

“Our plan is to double, triple, quadruple the size of our business pretty quickly,” Knox said. That starts with doubling legal managed services revenues over the next 12 months, he said.

Knox’s plan is the latest sign that the Big Four—including Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC—and other alternative legal service providers are making a play for a larger piece of a market traditionally dominated by law firms.

The moves are of particular interest in the US market where some states are now looking at changing the law firm ownership rules, which will intensify the move into the legal space by the Big Four and others, including alternative legal providers.

Deloitte last month unveiled a new U.S. Legal Business Services practice, which will work with in-house legal offices to streamline functions that track client contracts, invoices, eDiscovery, and other functions.

Knox said EY’s legal managed services unit is focusing on many of the same services, including by offering a range of contract lifecycle management tools. The U.S. remains a key area of growth for EY as a result of its being the largest legal market in the world by a significant margin.

As a proportion of EY’s general business the legal services business is relatively tiny. That leaves a lot of room for growth.

Last September, EY announced record combined global revenues of $36.4 billion for the financial year that ended in June of 2019. It has continued to expand with new alliances in China and elsewhere.

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