New Delhi, Nov. 9: KPMG International has said it will stop providing full-scope legal services, and that its associated legal network — KLegal International — is to be discontinued.
Member firms of the KLegal International network are now discussing the formation of a new legal grouping that will be completely independent of KPMG. It will work with KPMG member firms, but on a non-exclusive basis.
The announcement reflects changed market conditions, including the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which restricts the provision of legal services. The KLegal brand will be discontinued.
However, KPMG member firms will continue to employ lawyers in parts of their practices, particularly in support of forensic and tax services.
KPMG International chairman Mike Rake said, “KPMG’s strategy going forward is that its member firms will be multi-disciplinary and provide assurance, tax and advisory services, with global consistency in terms of quality and delivery.”
“We will continue to lead the industry in helping to restore public confidence in the accounting profession and capital markets,” he added.
“While we have been very proud of the strength and depth of KLegal’s capability, the new environment means that a different approach to legal services is required,” he said.
“This new approach will help KPMG member firms meet marketplace needs and allow them to focus their resources on expanding their assurance, tax and advisory services. It will also allow the full-scope legal practices within KLegal to operate without restriction in the market.”
KLegal International chairman Jean-Louis Paul said, “KLegal has built a strong reputation and at present operates with more than 3,000 lawyers in 60 countries around the world. The aim now is for a restructuring which will allow legal practices to become completely independent of KPMG. Our ambition is to create a new federation with a strong position in the international legal market and with a ‘best friends’ relationship with KPMG.”