In what will almost certainly go down as one of the biggest but perhaps most inevitable “oh shit” moments for mainstream law in the expansion of the Big Four into legal services, EY has today (7 August) announced an agreement to acquire Riverview Law to support the expansion of EY legal managed services globally.
The acquisition will help scale the EY Law legal managed services offering and help EY clients to increase efficiency, manage risk, improve service transparency and reduce costs of routine legal activities. Riverview Law has a strong technology practice that uses process automation from Kim Technologies for delivery of its legal services.
The acquisition of Riverview Law, which we have long anticipated will be acquired by a bigger player looking to expand their offering, will drive the current EY tech-led approach to legal managed services. The acquisition is led by Chris Price, EY Global Head of Alliances – Tax, who will become CEO of EY Riverview Law once the acquisition is complete and will work closely with the existing Riverview Law leadership team to bolster the EY cross-sector, multidisciplinary approach to legal services that can be scaled to serve EY clients across the globe.
Kate Barton, EY global vice chair of tax, said: “When it comes to legal managed services, clients need access to best in cost and best in class law functions that offer the specialist tools and technologies to keep pace with the disruptive change they are facing. The acquisition of Riverview Law expands EY Law Services so that we can continue to provide these innovative approaches that can help meet EY clients’ biggest challenges.”
Cornelius Grossmann, EY Global law leader, said: “Legal managed services is one of the fastest growing segments of the legal market. This acquisition underlines the position of EY as a leading disruptor of legal services; it will provide a springboard for current EY legal managed services offerings and bolster the capabilities that we can help deliver for EY clients. We recognize the expertise that Riverview Law has in this growing market area, which when married with the global EY footprint and legal understanding will help drive significant opportunities for EY clients.”
EY Law now comprises more than 2,200 law practitioners in member firms across 81 jurisdictions.
The addition of the Riverview Law platform will help organizations to manage legal instructions coming into the function, re-direct work that does not require legal input, triage work that does require legal support to the right team and manage all stages from case opening to case closing, including document creation. Critically, the acquisition also combines comprehensive quality, risk management and dashboard tools and a dedicated client support team that understands the culture, risk appetite and demands of legal services clients, helping them to streamline their legal function so that legal teams can focus efforts on key tactical and strategic legal work.
Karl Chapman, CEO of Riverview Law, said: “The legal profession is going through a period of significant global upheaval. Changes in regulation, technology and most importantly customer expectation create an opportunity for a more flexible and customer-centric approach to the provision of legal services. Becoming part of EY is a real strategic fit for our team and is in line with our commitment to deliver world-class service and counsel to Riverview Law clients who are at the core of everything we do. As part of EY, we will have even greater resources to help them drive business outputs from their legal inputs. Put simply, we are excited by the next stage in our journey. We believe that the combination of the Riverview Law operating model, operating platform and people, alongside the EY brand, EY clients, existing legal services offering and global scale is a winning formula for the legal market.”
This is hot off the press but we will be bringing further reaction and commentary – rest assured, there will be plenty.