With news that EY is making good on its promise to ditch its audit business, the likelihood has dramatically increased that it will deepen its legal services offerings and compete toe-to-toe with law firms. Senior leaders in Big Law are split on what this means for the competitive landscape, and just how much of a threat are EY and its ilk.

EY raised the idea in May, and by early September the accounting firm confirmed it was moving ahead with a worldwide partner vote to spin off its advisory services—which includes its legal services—from its audit business.