find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
What is old is new: PwC opts for MDP

What is old is new: PwC opts for MDP

PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS HAS announced its decision to integrate PwC Legal into the broader PwC partnership under a multidisciplinary practice structure (MDP).The firm appears to have finally…

PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS HAS announced its decision to integrate PwC Legal into the broader PwC partnership under a multidisciplinary practice structure (MDP).

The firm appears to have finally found a way around the complex MDP landscape, which for years saw all big four accounting firms abandon the MDP model for law and accounting. The introduction of Sarbanes-Oxley in the US had a huge effect in Australia, and accounting firms struggled to balance their legal arms with international audit requirements.

Leigh Minehan, PwC deputy CEO, told Lawyers Weekly that 60 per cent of PwC Australia’s revenue comes from non-audit clients. He admitted that there are independence restrictions around providing certain legal services to audit clients. But for the rest, he said, it is a non-issue.

Despite the challenge posed by the structures of MDPs in the past, PwC now plays down the significance of its latest move. Representatives of the firm insist the move comes as no shock for insiders, and is simply part of the natural evolution of the firm.

“I don’t think there’s any shock at all that’s come to the group. It’s something that we want to live both in substance and in form to the one firm — to have this one firm culture,” said Andrew Wheeler, leader legal services.

The MDP will continue to provide advice in its traditional strengths in corporate and commercial, employment and industrial relations, tax controversy, environment and property and litigation. Minehan revealed plans to expand into additional areas of practice, including the provision of a corporate tax consulting service.

The integration of the legal practice will create new jobs for lawyers seeking a slice of the legal, accounting and financial advisory partnership. “We will look to hire more lawyers, particularly in the corporate and commercial area which is a tight area around town obviously at the moment. And also in the tax controversy area,” predicted Wheeler.

Pay for transferring partners will be on par with the existing partners of PwC proper. “For those partners in PwC Legal who have now come into PwC as full partners, the partner remuneration structures between the two firms will be consistent. We did that a couple of years ago. So they would be remunerated no differently to the rest of the partners in PwC,” said Minehan.

There will be no job losses as a result of the restructure, according to Minehan. “Certainly there is no one being let go. We’re bringing everybody across to try and grow the practice.”

The impact on the day-to-day operations of the legal services department will be negligible, according to Wheeler.

“There’ll be some noticeable changes but others won’t be as significant. Over the last few years we’ve worked pretty closely with PwC to align a lot of the policies and systems we have in both PwC Legal and PwC; so human capital policies, co-location, remuneration, training and the like. So they’ve actually been aligned. But our people will notice differences post-1 February, which will include moving onto the same financial and billing systems,” said Wheeler.

Minehan said the decision to integrate was a practical move that will benefit clients and improve career opportunities for those with legal expertise across the entire firm. “It was always a separate stand-alone partnership with separate partners in the legal, the accounting and financial advisory partnership. And whilst we worked closely together, with clients they had to engage separately because of the way in which the legal regulations apply over the years.”

He said the change will add value to people internally as well as clients, enabling the firm to provide integrated services, not just legal services. “So the rule changed a couple of years ago and after them doing some research into how we could best take advantage of it we came to the view that it was best to integrate the legal firm fully within PwC Australia.”

Click here to see 'PwC on the MDP path'

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

What is old is new: PwC opts for MDP
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...