A recent speech to a global network of lawyers and accountants highlighted the curious relationship they share. Lawyers and accountants are simultaneously collaborators and competitors. The paradox is reconciled by separating the professional and business/organizational elements of their dynamic.

Lawyers and accountants share several common challenges and often collaborate. At the same time, law and accounting firms—as well as other professional service organizations-  “alternative legal service providers” (ALSP’s), consultancies, and technology companies-compete for market share in a rapidly converging, multidisciplinary professional services marketplace. Disaggregation of legal and accounting functions now cuts across the professions. What matters is what services consumers want to purchase, from what provider, and at what price. Consumers are reshaping once clear boundaries separating law and accounting.

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