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Many falsely believe the Big Four were kicked out of the legal industry in the early 2000s. The Economist even went so far as to state, after the Enron scandal drove regulators to limit the range of legal services audit firms could provide, that “accountancy firms’ drive in the legal arena is dead.”

Such reports—as Mark Twain once famously said when he was informed of a rumor of his own death—were greatly exaggerated. There is increasing evidence that law firms are finally waking up to this reality. Two recent reports by ALM Intelligence show that law firm leaders see the Big Four as a significant threat to their firms’ revenue streams and market positions. They also report that the Big Four appear well-placed to expand into a wider range of services, including those higher up the value chain.

A Global Footprint

To see the threat posed by the Big Four, one need only look at the number of countries where these newly re-energized players are currently offering a wide range of legal services.

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