Big Four professional services firm KPMG is well on its way to creating a legal services giant as it remains on track to double the size of its UK legal practice.
KPMG announced last year that KPMG Law, established in 2014 as an alternative business structure, would double in size as part of UK growth plans, with the total number of solicitors topping 400 by the end of 2024.
Nick Roome, head of KPMG Law in the UK, told the Gazette today that the business had 170 solicitors in 2021 and is currently pushing 250. The strategy for scaling up is ‘to do more of what we do already’.
KPMG Law’s revenue has grown by 80% in the last two financial years and ‘we have also increasingly seen an appetite from clients to engage with what we are doing’, Roome said. ‘In the nine years I have been doing this job, I have noticed how the market has changed. The perception of the value we can bring to clients has really changed.’
The business world is increasingly complex and many are going through ‘some of digital transformation or wider’, he added. Clients often do not know all the parts they need when they embark on fundamental changes to their organisation and ‘that plays to the advantage of a firm like us’.
In 2014, KPMG became the second of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms to set up an ABS. It markets itself as taking a multi-disciplinary, client-centric approach and is integrated with KPMG’s service lines in tax, risk, consulting and deal advisory.
On comparisons with private practice firms, Roome said he believes KPMG Law sits in its own category. ‘If we position and evolve to essentially becoming what a law firm is, we’re missing the turning point of opportunity that we’ve got… We’re able to provide an integrated piece’.
Last month KPMG announced that Roome, who has led the UK legal practice since 2015, has been promoted to take on a global role, concentrating on growing KPMG’s legal solutions. Roome will be succeeded by Stuart Bedford, a corporate partner at magic circle firm Linklaters who has previously worked as in-house counsel with BAE Systems. Both take up their new roles in April.