Shepherd & Wedderburn pledges to keep independent from accountancy practices

Shepherd & Wedderburn has unanimously agreed that it will never formally link up with an accountancy firm at its recent strategy review

The top end of Scotland's legal market has proved a popular hunting ground for the big five accountancy firms. First the now embattled Andersen Legal linked up with Dundas & Wilson. Then more recently, KPMG's tied law firm KLegal executed a merger with highly respected Scots firm McGrigor Donald.

“If you need an endorsement for the independence of professional services, Enron is it”
Paul Hally, Shepherds

Shepherd & Wedderburn is understood to have been approached by PricewaterhouseCoopers in the past, although this is something the law firm has never confirmed. The firm also works with accountancy firms on an ad-hoc basis in areas of common strength, such as corporate finance and PFI.
In light of the Enron scandal, the firm feels it has a competitive advantage over McGrigors and Dundas which have thrown in their lot with the accountants.
Shepherd & Wedderburn chief executive Paul Hally said: “Our strategy review was about what was going on in the economy, responding to the KLegal-McGrigors merger and Enron. We would have agreed on this point even pre-Enron, but if you ever needed an endorsement for the independence of professional services, Enron is it.”