Landwell’s global legal network has been given a deadline of 30 June by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this year to stop working for Price-waterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) SEC-registered audit clients.
Heussen, the firm’s German practice (previously PwC Veltins) is to quit the network almost two months short of this date on 6 May.
The firm will continue to work with PwC, but will cut all financial, marketing and referral ties, leaving it free to enter into best friends relationships with other firms.
Sources at Landwell said Heussen will probably be the last firm to cut ties. Dutch and Belgian practices did so last year and the French practice lost a Paris team to Taylor Wessing and made redundancies in the audit referral group.
Last year, PwC’s law firms were given three choices as to how to respond to the SEC: become an in-house part of PwC in countries where this was allowed; operate as a non-audit-focused associated firm within the SEC rules, as Landwell UK will continue to do; or a split totally where local rules or the business case necessitates this.
Heussen eventually opted for the third option.