KPMG has become the last of the Big Four to offer legal services from a base in Asia, after it established an affiliated law firm in Hong Kong named SF Lawyers.
Operating in association with KPMG Law in Australia, SF Lawyers is helmed by principal Shirley Fu, who started her career in 2004 with KPMG’s tax and legal department in Sydney.
She later relocated to Hong Kong where she worked for a number of international firms, before returning to KPMG from offshore law firm Harneys, where she was most recently a counsel.
Apart from Fu, SF Lawyers has two other proposed senior hires - Rodney Chen and David Murray – and registered foreign lawyer Leo Tian.
KPMG says that it has spent the past year laying the groundwork for physical expansion in Asia. It collaborated with Alibaba Cloud to assist China-based businesses in entering new markets abroad, and with Singapore Airlines and Microsoft to develop a blockchain-based airline loyalty programme.
In APAC broadly, KPMG posted record results last year and has committed $1 billion of investment in the development of client solutions across the region within the next four years, aside from the creation of 25,000 skilled professional roles.
All of the Big Four firms have all made inroads into Asia in recent years. PwC launched its firm Tiang & Co in Hong Kong in 2017, and in Singapore, it snapped up Rachel Eng of WongPartnership, who established a local law practice under the PwC umbrella.
EY added Singapore’s Atlas Asia Law Corporation as a part of its network last year, and operates as LC Lawyers (Lin & Associates) in Hong Kong. Deloitte launched foreign law practice Deloitte Legal International in Singapore, and then added local law capabilities after adding Sabara Law to its network.
KPMG plans to launch further legal services in Shanghai this year.
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