Law firms like to have something to worry about, but I’m increasingly beginning to wonder if the focus on technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots as a perceived threat is a distraction from the real competitive challenge we face. The Big Four accountancy firms (PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte) now employ around 10,000 lawyers worldwide, according to a recent report in the Financial Times. In England and Wales we are seeing the legal arms of these Big Four, and the top 30 or so accountancy firms with aspirations to join them, seeking to offer legal services to commercial clients – including law firms needing specialist services such as merger, insolvency or partnership advice. Professio...

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