The rise of the accountants continues as PwC launches in DC

The rise of the accountants continues as PwC launches in DC”

Soon after the report was issued, PricewaterhouseCoopers announced it is opening a USA law firm in Washington, D.C., the Am Law Daily reports (sub. req.).

PwC's launch in Washington will be headed up by Richard Edmundson, who is head of PwC Legal's worldwide business reorganisations group. PwC Legal, which a year ago fully integrated with the accounting firm's United Kingdom business, also has offices in 85 countries, far more than any other law firm.

ILC Legal, which Edmundson described as a law firm, will be structured as a separate legal entity from the rest of PwC and its legal services arm. Previously, she worked in the legal department of Nutreco, a large animal nutrition company based in the Netherlands. Edmundson said ILC Law has no plans at this time to open more USA offices, but it could happen in the future.

PwC to open USA law firm, a sign of increasing... The firm, ILC Legal, will focus on the global activities of United States companies with a wide range of commercial, immigration, tax and data protection services but will not, currently, offer U.S. legal services.

Led by PwC's global business reorganisations leader Richard Edmundson, the firm will not advise on U.S. law but support American companies on matters relating to their operations overseas: these will include worldwide corporate structuring, M&A support, labour, financial services, immigration, cybersecurity and data protection, corporate secretarial, tax controversy and dispute resolution.

PwC's move comes as the Big Four accountancy firms continue to ramp up their activities in the legal marketplace.

"What I would be most concerned about is that they have much deeper business skills and much broader platforms [than law firms]", said Lowe. "If you look at the numbers, these accounting firms, while they only have 2,200 in their legal teams, they have 50,000 employees or more. The scale literally dwarfs that of the typical law firm". "We will see how the market reacts".

The new ILC Legal firm was first noticed by The American Lawyer after an in-house lawyer filed multiple trademark registrations for ILC Legal LLP and then updated its website to include ILC.

Law firm leaders are waking up to the Big Four threat, the ALM report says.

While the Big Four have historically focused on practices that complement their audit and tax advisory businesses, such as tax, labour and employment, and immigration, the report found that they are increasingly branching out into other areas, including M&A.

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