PwC’s legal operations brought in around £70 million ($91.82 million) in U.K. revenues during the 2017-18 financial year—a figure that would have put it only just outside the U.K. top 50 based on last year’s rankings.
The Big Four accounting firm, which received an alternative business structure (ABS) licence in 2014 that enables it to integrate its legal arm into the wider business, now has about 350 fee earners in the U.K. offering advice in areas including cybersecurity and data protection, corporate reorganizations, disputes, employment, immigration, M&A, pensions and technology.
The firm’s legal services arm, which since October of last year has been led by Ed Stacey, stopped being a distinct business unit after an integration process took place, meaning its lawyers now sit alongside their counterparts from the wider firm and report into PwC’s leadership.
Its last results prior to the integration, reported in September 2016, saw the legal arm boost revenues from £48.5 million ($63.62 million) to £59.9million ($78.58 million).
Since then, PwC has launched a flexible lawyering service as part of its “New Law” offering for large in-house legal teams, while last October it announced plans to start offering legal services in the U.S. through the launch of a new firm, ILC Legal.
Meanwhile, last month it announced a new local law practice in Singapore with the hire of Rachel Eng, the deputy chair of Singaporean firm WongPartnership, with Deloitte and EY both following suit in recent weeks. PwC and EY have also expanded their legal practices in Hong Kong.
All four of the Big Four accounting firms now have ABS licenses enabling them to practice legal services in the U.K. Deloitte became the last of the group to be granted a license earlier this year, after KPMG and EY were both awarded licenses in 2014.