S. Lawrence (Larry) Kocot was one of the partners who transitioned from a law firm to an accounting, tax and consulting firm. Prior to joining KPMG, Kocot was an attorney at three of the country`s most respected law firms: Epstein Becker & Green, Dentons and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. He also held senior positions in government and was a member of the Brookings Institution. He was at the top of his game. When KPMG asked him to join their ranks, Kocot admits he was hesitant at first. “When KPMG approached me, I had three or four jobs at the same time. I didn`t need another one! But soon after, Kocot led KPMG`s new Center for Healthcare Regulatory Insight. The corporate culture of the Big Four is also a source of pride. For example, the four Big Four are on Fortune magazine`s 2015 list of the 100 Best Workplaces.
(All four have also been on the list for at least eight consecutive years.) In addition, Deloitte Legal has been recognized by Czech students as the most attractive legal employer in the last two years. Similarly, the French law firm TAJ, which is affiliated with the firm, received the Business Case of Action award for its exemplary actions in favor of gender equality at the 2013 United Nations Conference of the Principles for the Empowerment of Women. A third advantage when it comes to recruitment is that the big four companies tend to better address lawyers` concerns about personal and professional development. For example, they are often much more transparent about career advancement opportunities. Most importantly, they typically offer formal training programs to manage lawyers` development needs at every stage of their careers. 11. Investment and long-term perspective. A corporate structure would increase investment in customers, data, technology and people. This represents a longer-term, less transactional and relationship-oriented vision. Digital transformation is a journey, not a switch. It takes investment, calculated risk, time and change management.
The partnership model is not based on this, but the structure of the company is. 2. Culture. Organizational culture is an increasingly important aspect of the workforce. Humanity, collegiality, learning new skills, collaboration, training, management tutelage, diversity, equity and inclusion are cultural elements that help attract and retain the best talent. The law firm partnership model usually lacks most of these features. It is individualistic rather than collective; zero sum as collaboration; Input via output oriented; rigid hierarchical, not flat; homogeneous, not diversified; and risk-averse, not innovative. In this context, the Big Four – with extremely deep resources – are reappearing on the ground. If they simply try to “look like us,” they simply become another group of competitors. In this model, they certainly have advantages, but they have equally strong disadvantages. It`s a very different story when they use their capital to develop service offerings that use technology and people in a different way than the one currently offered by the great law.
If they choose this path, they have the resources to radically change the way legal services are delivered. Time will tell if this is the path they choose, but the risk is there, not in the Big Four, which look like a great law. Be that as it may, the increasing diversification of the legal sector and the innovative use of the latest technological advances by the Big Four have increased the stakes of law firms. Big Law`s ability to innovate with AI may well determine its competitive advantage. 5. Metrics. Earnings per partner remain the holy grail of law firm indicators. The workforce is well aware of this; Billable hours and business creation are how this is achieved. Partners become de facto customers of their workforce, not end users of business services. The business model promotes customer focus and rewards them accordingly. The partnership model is partner-centred and measures employee contribution through inputs, not outputs.
Many corporate legal departments once aspired to be in-house law firms. That has changed. The company requires the law to adapt to the company, introduce its technology platforms, processes, data agility, customer centricity, collaboration and value creation. This increased expectation of the legal department by the business community has led to a growing gap between the company`s departments and their external consultants. Legal service providers with corporate structures are well positioned to bridge the gap between law firms and law firms. Tod isn`t surprised that the Big Four rank so high in employee satisfaction, as this determines the essence of what professional services companies should be. He tells The Practice that when he was at Deloitte, the firm`s mission statement “helps our clients and employees excel.” He explains: “We value our employees as much as we do our customers, because what is a professional organization? They are professionals who help customers with their problems. Therefore, one of our main tasks has been to recruit, retain, develop and help the best professionals excel. The Big Four have a significant competitive advantage over traditional companies for process work due to the following key success factors: (i) integrated services and (ii) technology.
“They`re trying to be more like us.” That`s the quote Joe Andrew, Global President of Dentons, gave to Big Law Business regarding the reappearance of the Big Four as a competitor to Big Law. This is in response to a recent article published by ALM Intelligence titled “Elephants in the Room.” All of this was interrupted late last week by news that PwC has set up a US law firm to advise US clients on international issues. Ian Tod discusses Deloitte Legal at a 2014 conference on “Disruptive Innovation in the Legal Services Market” hosted by the Center on the Legal Profession. The video begins with Tod`s statements. Lawyers working for KPMG, Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Deloitte – the Big Four – are not a new phenomenon. Large accounting firms, which now call themselves professional services firms, have been recruiting lawyers for years. And they continue to do so at high speed. For example, a web search in January 2016 for vacancies listed on EY`s careers website revealed 287 positions with “J.D.” and 114 with “LL.M.” as keywords. When an identical search was conducted on KPMG`s careers website, the results were very similar – 271 vacancies with “J.D.” and 48 with “LL.M.” as keywords.
Each of the Big Four also has a website dedicated to “lawyer life” in their organizations. In an interview with The Practice, Ian Tod, former chairman of Deloitte Legal, said: “We are recruiting for our legal practice at all levels. We recruit directly from the university. We recruit people with two or three years of experience. We recruit experienced partners. We recruit the full range of people. » License our cutting-edge legal content to develop your thought leadership and build your brand. The Big Four And Legal: Their second sleight of hand won`t be déjà vu anymore exactly when do they receive their annual comments on promoting the scene? If they are not advanced, what information and support will they receive to help them move forward next time? Nevertheless, the question remains: to what extent should Big Law really be concerned about these innovative market players? A 2019 report by Prism Solutions found that two-thirds of UK lawyers surveyed were “concerned” about the threat posed by accounting firms and ALSPs, with 45% saying they would consider them a “major threat”. In particular, the report suggests that it is the Big Four`s ability to provide legal services in a “more transparent, simplified and fixed-price manner, while delivering superior customer satisfaction” that is a cause for concern, as technology and new ways of working allow these companies to be more flexible in their pricing models. This is in contrast to traditional law firms that have often struggled to change their models of billable hours and 6-minute increments. But once you`ve answered the above questions, your work isn`t done. You should always sell the details to the candidates.
For example, EY and Deloitte have recently made headlines, fueling speculation through alleged plans to spin off their audit and advisory branches. EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG (The Big Four) have come under long and sharp criticism for their lack of independence in auditing companies` financial statements due to fees generated by their consulting partners from the advisory, tax and advisory sectors. A split would free the advisory teams from these conflicts and allow them to fight for a significant portion of the additional legal work. Top Tier U.S. Law Firm – Leveraged Finance Lawyers – Asscoiates and Counsel Many firms treat their HR staff like glorified secretaries – a recipe for being killed in the race for talent. HR teams should be given primary responsibility for process management to (i) ensure that their company goes through the hiring process in a timely manner (e.g. Partners who continue to postpone interviews and allow Big Four competitors to beat them in the offer) and (ii) confidently tell candidates what they can expect from their company`s hiring process in terms of timing, milestones, etc. At the very least, these messages can reduce the likelihood of missed hiring opportunities caused by candidates taking the strange quiet breaks of misinterpreting the company`s hiring teams.