By Sam Reisman,Law360
The announcement Thursday that PricewaterhouseCoopers will open a legal services office in Washington, D.C., should put U.S. law firms on notice that the major accounting firms are on the march.
The opening of PwC's affiliate, ILC Legal LLP, gives the accounting giant a new foothold in the U.S. legal market and signals potentially heightened competition with the Big Four accounting firms, which have the geographical reach, numbers and array of integrated services that make them attractive to clients.
Jeffrey Lowe, global practice leader of Major, Lindsey & Africa LLC's law firm practice group, noted that ILC's small team of attorneys all come from other PwC member firms and said it remained to be seen whether the opening of ILC Legal signaled a dramatic strategic shift or merely internal PwC restructuring.
"I'd like to see what happens next and whether or not they start adding people to this law firm at a fast clip, or whether this was a housekeeping matter and nothing to be concerned about," he said.
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