It’s no secret that for years now the so-called Big Four accounting firms — Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, andKPMG — have attempted to strategically nudge themselves into the legal market. That Big Four foray has long been forecast to affect BigLaw. However, a new report by the president of the Association of International Law Firm Networks suggests that BigLaw appears safe for the time being, and independent firms in midsize markets could be the ones to take a hit.
The report, titled “Lawyers and Accountants — Professional Services Disruption,” argues the makeup of who offers legal services has already changed worldwide, with the big four employing approximately 10,000 attorneys in 80 countries outside the U.S. According to the report, “What is actually taking place is the redistribution of legal services everywhere else in the world — except for the U.S. and the major markets. This leaves indigenous firms to face the brunt of new competition from the Big Four. These are countries in which the Big Four have a large local presence and are local themselves in every sense. In turn, this will affect law firm networks whose members are among the largest local firms.”