Deloitte to launch legal services offering

Deloitte is gearing up to match its Big Four rivals, after the firm confirmed it is in talks with the Solicitors Regulation Authority over an application for an alternative business structure (ABS) licence which would allow it to offer legal services

PwC was awarded a licence in at the beginning of 2014 and EY and KPMG had their applications approved later that year.

In a statement, Deloitte said it plans to launch two new offerings: managed services, such as automated document review and contract management, and consulting services.

The consulting services will focus on improving operations of in-house legal departments and helping to exploit technology.

In addition, Deloitte will extend its existing legal services in employment law, tax litigation and immigration.

The firm said it intends to launch the new services early this year and will be working with clients to develop and test innovative approaches that address both opportunities and challenges in the legal market, including automation of processes and risk management.

As part of this, Deloitte said it will apply for an ABS licence and will be investing in new staff and advanced technology to meet demand.

Matt Ellis, managing partner for tax and legal at Deloitte, said: ’We don’t want to replicate a traditional law firm. We’re planning to use our technology and advisory skills to transform legal services and help address many of the challenges lawyers, whether in practice or in-house, are facing in today’s increasingly complex legal environment.

‘By automating repetitive processes and completing routine tasks in a fraction of the time, lawyers will be able to spend more time on specialist areas.’

As part of the move, Deloitte Global is also launching a complementary global legal management consulting (LMC) business in ten countries. Comprising a team of over 100 professionals it will support the legal community world-wide.

Piet Hein Meeter, global managing director of Deloitte Legal, said: ‘Deloitte Global’s LMC offering will use our consultancy and technology skills alongside our legal expertise to address the challenges that face in-house legal teams.

‘Our 2016 survey of in-house legal departments has shown that 62% of legal counsel, general counsel, CEOs and CFOs, are looking to significantly review and transform the way in which their legal function operates - which is exactly what we’re looking to address with LMC.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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