PwC – the first of the ‘big four’ accountants to gain an alternative business structure (ABS) licence – has become a true multi-disciplinary practice by merging its connected law firm into the wider business, in a move that has been welcomed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
PwC Legal became an ABS in early 2014, with PwC becoming a corporate member of the law firm’s partnership.
Kevin Burrowes, head of clients and markets and executive board member at PwC, said: “This is the natural next step. PwC Legal has a simple strategy to offer advice that complements services provided by PwC. By fully integrating PwC Legal into the rest of our business, we are better placed to meet increasing client demand for more holistic advice.
“The ability to embed legal advice more fully into our advisory services allows us to better help our clients solve their complex challenges and problems, particularly as the UK heads towards the unchartered territory of Brexit.”
PwC Legal has 16 partners, 26 directors and a 350-strong UK team in total, based in London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Belfast. It reportedly had a turnover of £60m for the last financial year, up around 25% from the previous 12 months. Its practices covers areas such as cyber security and data protection, corporate reorganisation, disputes, employment, immigration, M&A, pensions and technology.
Shirley Brookes, senior partner at PwC Legal, added: “We’ve invested heavily in our people and skills and all of our practice areas grew this year. The integration into PwC is the logical step given the shared aim of both firms to deliver high-quality, high-value services to clients through strong relationships.”
Crispin Passmore, SRA executive director for policy, added: “Clients have always had needs that cut across professional boundaries and subject specialism. A multi-disciplinary service allows those clients to get access to all the services they need, organised at their convenience rather that the convenience of professions.
“We therefore welcome PwC’s shift to become a full multi-disciplinary practice. It is one more example of how modern regulation can work to support innovation.”