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Expanding Their Scope: Law firms offering new lines of service

March 01, 2021

By The Practice, Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School

In “The Global 100 Responds to the Big Four,” Robert Couture’s analysis shows Global 100 law firms responding to the Big Four accounting firms’ expansion into the legal services market in roughly one of three ways: (1) with no change to their strategy, (2) by establishing mutually beneficial relationships with the Big Four, or (3) by expanding the service offerings of the law firm to compete with the Big Four’s core value proposition of integrated services. Indeed, this third response represents a strategy that has been building momentum in the last decade, as law firms and other legal service providers have begun hiring new professionals and building new structures within their organizations to offer nonlegal professional services. 

In this article, we take a closer look at what these new organizational structures within law firms look like and, perhaps most revealing, at the professionals running them. What is it about offering nonlegal services at large law firms that is enticing these professionals away from consulting practices and Big Four firms? How does the law firm experience compare with these professionals’ previous career stops? What forms might these new structures take? We spoke with two such professionals at the front of this trend—Paul Hastings’s BJ D’Avella and Eversheds Sutherland’s Trystan Richards—to learn more.

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This article appeared in The Practice, Center on the Legal Profession, Harvard Law School.

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Image: BJ D'Avella
BJ D'Avella
Group Leader, Life Sciences Consulting Group

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