In response to multinational organizations' rising demands for legal services, KPMG Global Legal Services reported record growth in 2018, with revenues growing by more than 30 percent in this area, and a marked expansion of its talent base across the network.
KPMG International attributes this growth to the unique type of legal services offering that in-house legal teams are now seeking. KPMG member firm legal teams are able to deliver these services leveraging the strength of its global network to provide integrated end-to-end business and legal methodologies and technology led solutions, working as one team. This distinctive approach has also enabled the network to become a magnet for talented legal professionals. Talents who are eager to have the benefit of a multidisciplinary approach to business opportunities, issues and trends, while working on cutting-edge legal technology solutions and methodologies. KPMG's legal practice grew to more than 2,300 legal professionals worldwide last year, including the addition of more than 20 new partners.
This growth continues in 2019, with the January opening of a KPMG affiliated legal practice in Hong Kong (SAR). An associated Shanghai office is expected to follow later this year. The Hong Kong (SAR) practice, SF Lawyers, will be an independent law firm within the KPMG Global Legal Services structure. The 76th jurisdiction in which KPMG Global Legal Services will operate and leveraging the technologies and broader business expertise of the firm.
Jürg Birri, KPMG's Global Head of Legal Services, said: “As our 2018 results demonstrate, this integrated approach to addressing legal challenges is in high demand. We expect continued growth in 2019 as we eagerly meet the evolving needs of clients across the globe, including high-growth markets like China. Increasingly, our clients are being asked to implement business transformation programs that need an integrated approach that combines business and legal methodologies, not just pure legal advice. We understand this and are able to deliver.”
KPMG Global Legal Services' momentum as a leader in alternative legal services will be further driven by the launch of its new KPMG Legal Operations and Transformation Services (LOTS). This offering helps in-house counsel transform their function to help meet the modern demands they face, through a proprietary process of assessing current operations. Through LOTS we advise clients defining a future operating model fit for business goals, identifying technologies, flexible resources and managed services that can support delivery of legal, regulatory and compliance services to their business partners.
The KPMG LOTS offering is a culmination of a collective focus across the network that seeks to bring to clients integrated technology led solutions, a transformative legal consultancy and core and alternative legal services. This will continue to be a focus in 2019. In addition, Global Entity Management is a key specialism that is increasingly in demand by multinational corporations. They rely on KPMG Global Legal Services to provide guidance on ensuring compliance with regulations and laws across multiple jurisdictions. In this fast-changing geopolitical landscape, KPMG expects to see demand for this service increase along with the calls for transformation and legal process outsourcing type of services, with many clients utilizing legal support as part of a suite of services offered by the consultancy.
Birri concluded: “Our approach is different. We're not a traditional law firm, and we're not copying the approach of a traditional law firm. We focus on offering our clients integrated legal advice and technology led solutions and methodologies, in combination with a range of alternative legal managed services, where we work collectively with our clients who are looking for local and multijurisdictional counsel. This combined approach, our local depth in each market, together with the benefit of the global platform of KPMG, is a clear differentiator and a great advantage to our clients.”