KLegal apes KPMG’s sector-based teams

KLegal is starting an internal restructuring aimed at aligning itself more closely with accountancy sister practice KPMG.

The firm will move away from its practice area focus and structure itself along sector lines, which it hopes will make it the most integrated accountancy-tied law firm.

In the new year, KLegal will start working along the same business divisions as KPMG, splitting into six groups looking at consumer markets, financial services, infrastructure and government, industrial markets, owner-managed businesses and information, communications and entertainment (ICE).

One or two partners will head each team, working closely with corresponding groups at KPMG, covering audit and accounting, tax, consulting and corporate finance.

Consumer markets will act for clients in the retail and food and drink sectors. KPMG clients in those sectors include Marks & Spencer, Boots, Unigate Dairies and Diageo. Financial services clients of KPMG cover HSBC and Credit Suisse First Boston, while the infrastructure and government group acts for the Ministry of Defence and London Transport.

Industrial markets covers work for groups such as AstraZeneca, BP and General Motors, while owner-managed businesses includes businesses such as dotcom start-ups. Finally, the ICE group will aim to act for KPMG clients Virgin, Motorola, the BBC and Samsung.

The decision as to who will head each team has not yet been finalised, except that the ICE group will be fronted by e-commerce partner Mark Haftke, who joined from Bird & Bird, and IT and telecoms partner Chris Hoyle, who is ex-Rakisons.

KLegal partner James Hodgson will plan the restructuring. He says: “We want to be as close as possible to KPMG, and this gives our lawyers the chance to get to know industries.”

Partners will also head one of the six regional business units run by KPMG, as the firm has no plans to open regional offices. Corporate and managing partner Nick Holt will build relations with the Manchester office, and Hodgson will be responsible for Leeds and Newcastle.