Chapman Tripp have recently celebrated the success of their law firm consultancy service, Chapman Tripp Consulting (CT Consulting), which the firm says is a “collaboration of the firm’s legal experts who bring a consulting service offering after more than 18 months of concept testing, development and refinement.”
Chapman Tripp Chief Executive Pip England (pictured left) says “we have identified a market opportunity to fill the gap where legal subject matter expertise and consulting advice come together to provide a one-stop shop. Consulting is a natural adjacency to the legal services we already offer.”
As with many international law firms that have feared the march of the large accounting practices into the legal arena, including in New Zealand, the firms have pushed into allied services of consulting as we have reported, particularly in markets like the UK, where the liberalisation of the legal services market with the introduction of the Legal Services Act in 2011 has seen non-law firms providing legal services.
The Big Four accounting giants have pushed into legal services, including in New Zealand with EY Law, PwC Law establishing legal service practices.
The ‘push back’ from law firms has occurred overseas and will doubtless develop further with the larger practices and some of the smaller boutique firms in New Zealand offering more law firm consultancy services to clients, beyond the pure legal advice arena.
Dentons, who merged their global practice in New Zealand with Kensington Swan have indicated that a ‘strategic consultancy’ practice will likely be established in this country shortly.
CT C0nsulting is headed by partner Bevan Miles and talk about strategic and other advice to clients. Following an ‘inaugural forum’ in May they now have a pipeline of events for the coming months, including facilitating a practical discussion on climate risk and TCFD reporting as the Financial Sector (Climate Change Disclosure) Amendment Bill moves through Parliament, hosting experts who are both designing the standards and leading the field in early reporting.
The pandemic and the earlier global financial crisis have increased the focus for many businesses on tax as one area that has provided a rich picking ground for the global consulting practices, along with regulatory and compliance issues that continue to occupy them.
Rather than merely acting on tax structures that major accounting practices have recommended, the law firms are increasingly advising on financial and economic aspects of business in the increasingly complex, cross-border world.
Australian Law Firms
Chapman Tripp say their law firm consulting service, developed over the past 18 months, have assisted clients in regulatory, finance industry, tax and other business areas with tax risk issues, remediated errors found in a conduct and culture review, improved the delivery of legal services and other work.