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The accountancy firms have done little more than dip their toes in the legal market in recent years, not least in light of the failure of the multidisciplinary partnership (MDP) model and the collapse Arthur Andersen and its associated law firm Garrett & Co.
But this hasn’t stopped Germany as a target of expansion for the Big Four and their close rivals, with Deloitte today revealed as the latest auditor to launch in Germany through an imminent tie-up with local ally Raupach & Wollert-Elmendorff. The firms have not commented, but sources close to the situation tell us the deal is all but signed and the Deloitte name might soon be gracing the German legal landscape.
Major law firm leaders in Germany need not worry too much: Deloitte and rivals Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as non-Big Four outfit BDO, operated in a different market, carrying out more commoditised work in support of the accounting giants’ existing clients. This is expected to be the case with Deloitte, especially given that Raupach has lost a number of its top partners in the past few years.
Nonetheless, the deal shows there may be a trend in the making. BDO launched in the past few months by taking on the team from its former Germany law firm ally Dres. Lauter Otte & Knorr, while the Deloitte acquisition would be a similar process. With Scottish-based Dundas & Wilson another one on Deloitte’s list of network members, one just wonders what is going to happen next.
Plus:The Lawyer today launches our survey of the leading civil cases of 2013. To participate simply download the form here and tell us why your cases deserves to be included in this hotly anticipated feature. You can find a copy of The Lawyer Top Cases 2012 here.
Also on TheLawyer.com:
Ashurst has launched in Saudi Arabia through an association with a local partner, while White & Case has hired a former Al Tamimi & Company partner in Abu Dhabi
Freshfields Germany partner Hildegard Bison has joined BP Europa as assistant general counsel
And, Wilsons’ Bristol office will move to Michelmores amid a legal dispute over exit terms