Big Four accountancy firm makes big push into law

by Steve Randall25 Sep 2017
Big Four accountancy firm makes big push into law
PwC is making a further push into the legal services market by launching a law firm in Washington.

The Big Four firm already operates a legal services network but the new venture is a full-service law firm under the name ILC Legal, a separate legal entity.

ILC Legal will not offer advice on US law but will offer advice to US firms on international matters, feeding into the larger PwC Legal network.

AI solution reviews contracts 60 times faster than a paralegal
A startup based in Singapore and the UK has launched a new artificial intelligence contract review solution which it says is 60 times faster and 30% cheaper than a typical paralegal.

ThoughtRiver has been tested by legal teams at law firms including Eversheds Sutherland and corporates such as BT and the firm says it can rapidly assess contracts and identifies those that may need further review.

While AI is one of the key disruptors in the legal profession, ThoughtRiver’s CEO Tim Pullan says – perhaps predictably – that technology is there to help.

“Legal professionals should not be alarmed by the deployment of technology. By automating key parts of the contract review process, they will be in a much stronger position to provide strategic advice to their clients,” he says. “As for in-house legal teams, they will be better placed to assess every contract that passes through their organisation without reading each one and prioritise their workloads to issues that most require their legal expertise.”

Almost a quarter of US, Canada law firms to increase hiring
New opportunities are set to open up for first-year associates in the US and Canada.

A survey of law firms by specialist recruiter Robert Half Legal has found that 22% of firms are planning to increase their hiring of entry-level lawyers in the next 12 months.

"Job opportunities for recent law school graduates are on the rise as firms look to expand legal teams to support high-growth practice areas, such as litigation, commercial law and real estate," said Jamy Sullivan, executive director of Robert Half Legal.

Only 7% of firms said they were planning to hire fewer while two thirds will keep hires to their current level.

"New associates who were ranked at the top of their law school class and possess in-demand attributes such as technology proficiency, business acumen, interpersonal abilities and team collaboration skills are highly marketable," added Sullivan.