KLegal in New Zealand faces fight over name

The New Zealand branch of KLegal is facing a court battle next month over its name.

Called KPMG Legal, the practice is under fire from the New Zealand District Law Society ethics committee which rejected its name in June.

The society says that the name implies it is a division of the global accounting firm KPMG, but it is actually a separate partnership.

KPMG Legal chairman Ian Haynes told The New Zealand Herald that the firm had relied on a decision from the society, given when it was launched in 1998, that it did not have a problem with the name. But since then the practice has grown considerably after merging with 43-partner commercial firm Kensington Swan.

Andersen Legal has also had the same problem in New Zealand, where it was originally given clearance over its name but later the ethics committee raised concerns that it gave an impression of size that was at odds with the then two-partner firm. The matter was later dismissed.