Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing

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“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” – Matthew 7:15

It might seem a little melodramatic to start a business development related post off with a biblical reference, but when the global leader of EY Law, Cornelius Grossman, says “I don’t think any firm should feel threatened“, vis-à-vis the march of accounting firms into the legal space, and particularly why law firms have nothing to fear from accountants practising law, it seems entirely appropriate.

On further reading, the firms Grossman says he is refusing to target – and thus by extension don’t need to feel threatened by the continued march of accountants into this space – are those doing “the highest level – “bet the company” – work and premier corporate clients” and who “have established their brands over hundreds of years…

In other words, so-called Magic Circle firms, their work and client base are safe from the invasion.

But, as Grossman then goes on to say in this legalweek.com article:

“he believes EY Law will succeed with multi-disciplinary teams doing mid-market transactional work”.

adding further that:

“We [EY Law] want to be known for compliance jobs that span over tens of jurisdictions and for large international reorgansiations.”

In other words, the work that just about 80 per cent of us have been trying very hard to secure for a couple of decades now (and in many case incurring significant losses while we try and secure this work)!

So, while Grossman may believe that:

“The threat of accounting firms to the legal market is overstated.”

and that:

“There’s so much work out there that we all compete for – I don’t think any firm in particular should feel threatened by that.”

unless you work for an elite law firm, I would like to suggest that you be a tad weary of wolves in sheep’s clothing telling you that there really is nothing to be overly concerned about and that there really is enough food out there for all of us to feed on.

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