The deal shows the continued intrusion in the legal services market of the Big Four Accountancy and Consultancy practices
KPMG’s legal operation has extended in Asia with the addition of 275 lawyers in 77 jurisdictions, increasing the impact of the firm’s legal services as well as the impact of the Big Four Accounting Giant’s moves into the legal services space.
The lawyers come from the former ZICO firms in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as firms in Thailand and Vietnam.
ZICO Law’s was founded in 1987 by Zaid Ibrahim and expanded in the region leading eventually to law firm affiliates in all of the ASEAN countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
There have also been affiliated law firms in China, Japan and Korea.
KPMG Global Head of Legal Services, Stuart Fuller (left) said it was also planned that ‘subject to satisfaction of all terms’, teams from ZICO Law’s firm in Laos will join its local firm there, while the former Philippines member will follow Roosdiono and Zaid Ibrahim in becoming a member firm.
Fuller said the new arrivals would help clients to navigate the increasing strategic and economic importance of the Asia-Pacific region.
“This expansion reflects KPMG professionals’ commitment to support clients as they seek to drive their businesses in times of exponential change,” he said.
“The need for deep, local experience coupled with global insights and technology solutions has never been greater. For the KPMG global organization, the overall agreement with the firms in the ZICO Law network increases the total number of legal professionals to close to 3,200 across 84 jurisdictions, all working to help support clients as they navigate the increasing strategic and economic importance of the Asia Pacific region.”
The KPMG move echoes what many have seen as an increasingly aggressive move by the firms into the legal space.
A LexisNexis report in 2021 showed that the growing use of alternative legal service providers (ALSPs), has seen the Big Four differentiating themselves from ‘conventional’ legal practices by combining their massive efficiencies and funding, along with legal tech efficiency, to provide legal services at scale.