E&Y in one-stop shop threat

Accountancy firm Ernst & Young is gearing up for the launch of a full-scale multidisciplinary legal practice in Canada pending a law society review of MDPs.

Earlier this year three-partner Toronto law firm Donahue & Associates became linked to the firm in what is regarded as the first step towards Ernst &Young's stated aim of providing a “one-stop shop”.

Now the firm is expressing confidence that the review into MDPs being conducted by the Law Society of Upper Canada will come out in favour of it.

A spokesman said: “Even though we don't know what the result will be, we are extremely confident of a positive result.”

Tim Kennish, managing partner at leading Canadian firm Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, expressed concern about the firm's moves into the legal market.

“Ernst & Young doesn't need law society approval,” he said. “It can encroach into law while structuring its legal component to accommodate existing law society rules.”

Donahue & Associates works out of Ernst & Young's Toronto office.