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14 October 2020

KPMG targets legal department digitalisation with relaunch of new law services

Big Four giant points to 14 years of credentials and experience as it unveils legal ops transformation arm

By John Malpas

Stuart Fuller

KPMG has launched a global legal operations consultancy service in a bid to ramp up its work advising legal departments on digitalisation.

The Big Four accountancy firm says its Global Legal Operations Transformation Services arm will bring together ‘more than 14 years of credentials and experience in the legal transformation space’ and says it has saved its clients more than $200m over the past two years.

It says recent and current engagements include multinational companies in the financial services, asset management, automotive, insurance and consumer goods sectors.

The leadership team includes Germany based co-heads of legal process and technology Andreas Bong and Philipp Glock, who are both partners, and principals Eric Gorman, US lead, legal operations transformation services, and Kimberly Tan Majure, inbound tax leader in the US. A further partner hire is promised imminently.

Services offered by the group include process optimisation, automation, contract life cycle management, managed services and ‘productised legal solutions’.

Stuart Fuller, head of global legal services at KPMG International, said: “The new Legal Operations Transformation Service enables KPMG firms to handle large-scale business in a more efficient and technologically-enabled way and is only the first in a number of capabilities and services that we plan to provide in this space.”

Outside the US, the business will sit with KPMG Law, which boasts 2,700 lawyers operating out of 81 jurisdictions. In the US, however, it will sit with the firm’s advisory and tax functions in line with restrictions on the provision of legal advice by accountancy firms.

All of the Big Four accountancy firms have been stepping up their services to in-house legal departments. 

In July, Deloitte launched a US Legal Business Services practice after hiring three senior executives from alternative legal services firms and last year EY bought the Pangea3 legal managed services business from Thomson Reuters having acquired Riverview Law a year earlier.

Last week, advisory firm Baretz+Brunelle published research that found that a third of Am Law 100 firms have set up their own in-house alternative legal service provider units in order to win back revenue from rival suppliers.

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