Deloitte Legal has announced the acquisition of law firm Kemp Little, in a move that enhances Deloitte Legal’s offering to UK clients. The deal will add 29 partners and up to 57 lawyers upon completion of landmark transaction.
Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and EY have shown their ability to enter new markets and consolidate share, and in recent years the quartet have been utilising this experience to try and forge a path into the UK’s legal market. By leveraging practice areas they already serve, as well as major merger and acquisition campaigns, the Big Four have gained market share at a rapid pace by providing legal services in tax, finance, M&A and labour. The latest example of this has come from Deloitte, which has purchased Kemp Little for an undisclosed fee.
Founded in 1997, Kemp Little is based in London, and offers legal services in commercial technology, corporate, employment, data protection, disputes, IP and financial regulation across a range of sectors including financial services, telecoms, and media and digital solutions. The firm also has a successful track record in developing LegalTech products aligned to its technology focus, including Dupe Killer, an AI-powered IP protection tool, and 4Corners, a contract analysis system.
Michael Castle, Managing Partner for Deloitte Legal in the UK, said, “This announcement is a milestone in the evolution of the delivery of legal solutions. Kemp Little is market-leading in the practice areas that Deloitte Legal has identified as being core to its offering. These areas are all synergistic with Deloitte’s wider business, meaning that we will be able to offer end-to-end professional services in areas like commercial technology and digital media.”
Globally, Deloitte Legal delivers technology-enabled legal solutions in areas such as employment, litigation, corporate and commercial and immigration, while hosting more than 85 client-facing practicing lawyers. It is made up of more than 2,500 professionals operating in over 80 countries, including roughly 200 people in the UK – including approximately 85 lawyers. The deal for Kemp Little will bolster this presence significantly, as it paves the way for the arrival of over 170 lawyers – including 29 partners – taking Deloitte Legal UK’s current headcount to around 370.
Richard Houston, Chief Executive of Deloitte North and South Europe, commented, “This transaction marks a key moment in the growth of Deloitte Legal. This demonstrates our confidence and willingness to invest where there is clear market demand. Bringing in the depth of talent in the Kemp Little team, from solicitors to technology specialists, will allow Deloitte Legal to offer clients a much broader range of legal expertise.”
According to Houston, the Covid-19 pandemic has also placed a greater emphasis on investment in technology – as business leaders look for more digital ways of operating, setting the stage for significant and longer-term cultural change. The move for Kemp Little provides a key boost for Deloitte Legal’s technology offering, enabling the holistic combination of legal expertise and leading capabilities in technology, providing clients with innovative solutions to complex legal challenges.
Andrew Joint, Managing Partner for Kemp Little, stated, “The team at Deloitte Legal is growing a unique and exciting combination of technology, consulting and legal advisory skills, and also benefits from the Deloitte network’s global scale. Kemp Little’s aim has always been to focus on delivering excellent technology and digital related legal services in a client focused way. We are all excited about joining forces with Deloitte Legal at completion to provide a very compelling offering in a market that has long been demanding greater innovation in the delivery of legal services.”