KLegal turns to the regions on back of KPMG

Accountancy-tied firm KLegal has initiated a new regional strategy to roll out multidisciplinary offerings from KPMG offices across the UK

The move, focusing on niche practice areas, is a bid to capture work from existing KPMG mid-market and FTSE 350 regional clients.

Top partners, including head of the intellectual property (IP) group James Hodgson, are now spending part of the week in regional offices in a bid to capture KPMG's potentially lucrative non-London client base.

Hodgson, who masterminded the regional strategy, covers Leeds and Newcastle. His practice in the North is being used as a test case for putting even more resources into the regions.

Hodgson said: “We've come up with a scheme where one partner will take responsibility for each regional office.” The partners for other offices, including Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Southampton, are already in place.

Unlike Garretts, which had a regional network before the demise of Andersen Legal, KLegal does not plan to open up its own dedicated offices; instead it will piggyback on the existing KPMG infrastructure.

Before the collapse of Andersen Legal, Garretts had begun to pull the plug on its regional operations, axing Leeds and Cambridge. The challenge for KLegal is to adopt a strategy that allows it access to its accounting parent's client base without using an Andersen Legal-type regional infrastructure.

The firm may face opposition from well-established national and regional firms that have strong ties and a referral system with regional KPMG offices. To counteract this problem, KLegal has chosen to focus on areas where it perceives little overlap with regional firms and where it feels there is a strong rationale for the multidisciplinary offering.

IP services, private equity, tax and employment are the core areas to roll out. The firm also hopes to attract work that requires an international network, where it perceives itself as competing with City firms but with the added advantage of a regional presence.