03 August 2018

Big four accountancy firms shaking up Singapore's legal space

Deloitte launches foreign practice, considers local practice, follows PwC, while EY takes another step to make it in the city-state.

Big four accountancy firms muscle in on Singapore’s legal space

Singapore has become the latest battleground as the big four accountancy firms muscle in on the legal space. Deloitte has launched a foreign practice in Singapore and is considering a local practice, following in footsteps of PwC, while EY has also taken another step in its quest to make it in the city-state.

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Deloitte is the latest of the Big Four professional services firms to expand in Singapore’s legal space after launching a foreign law practice, Deloitte Legal International. The firm is reportedly also considering launching its own law firm in in the city-state. Deloitte’s Singapore law firm is being led by managing director Rashed Idrees, who has more than 23 years of experience in Asia and the Middle East. He was a director for Deloitte Legal in Southeast Asia, partner at the legacy Deacons Australia’s Singapore office, and managing partner for Singapore, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Cambodia at DFDL. The firm expects to advise clients in practice areas like corporate/M&A, infrastructure, projects and project finance, banking, finance and securities law, bankruptcy and insolvency law, building and construction law, competition law, corporate and commercial law and employment law among others.

PwC and EY

Deloitte appears to be following the lead of PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal, which has also just opened an office in Singapore, its first in the Asia-Pacific region. PwC plans for a local law practice in Singapore, the same move Deloitte is considering’ kicked off by hiring Rachel Eng from WongPartnership. PwC had already launched a foreign law practice in 2016. A corporate lawyer with a focus on listings, corporate advisory, REITs and funds, and corporate governance work, Ms Eng has been deputy chairman since 2016 and was managing partner between 2010 and 2016. PwC will also continue to work with Camford Law, an independent local law firm within the PwC network, and other local Singapore law firms. The other big four firm hitting the Singapore scene is ErnstYoung, which has added Atlas Asia Law Corporation, headed by former Dentons Rodyk senior partner Evelyn Ang, to its network. The addition of Atlas Asia to the EY stable is the latest in a series of moves the firm has attempted in Singapore’s legal sector.

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