Collaboration is the K-EY to Success: EY acquires yet another legal services firm

November 18, 2019

2 min read

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What's going on here?

EY, one of the “Big Four” accountancy firms, has acquired Riverview Law and Pangea3 over the last year, with hopes to integrate both companies into its EY Law division.

What does this mean?

EY will absorb Riverview Law and Pangea3 into EY Law’s global managed services delivery. The acquisitions further broaden EY’s law practice, which already boasts more than 2,400 lawyers across 84 countries. However, lots of internal restructuring has been planned to support the integration of Riverview and Pangea3 into the wider firm – this is something that EY has reportedly been struggling with. Ultimately, through these acquisitions, EY aims to improve its legal services offering, focusing on lifecycle management, regulatory risk and compliance, and investigation and litigation.

What's the big picture effect?

EY acquired Riverview Law in August 2018. DLA Piper previously owned 21% of LawVest, which was the parent company of Riverview Law. However, as part of the acquisition, DLA Piper divested its stake in the business. Though the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, Riverview’s revenue was believed to have risen to over £10 million at the time of the acquisition.

Pangea3 was bought by EY, from Thomson Reuters, in June of this year. Pangea3 is a managed services business, with over 1,100 professionals who will help grow EY’s legal services offerings (for more information see our article on that here).  

Mark Weinberger, the CEO and global chairman of EY, said that these recent acquisitions make the firm one of the leading professional services firms, in terms of global legal advisory and legal services. He stated the acquisition “is an example of how EY is working to provide clients with holistic solutions, which are enabled by technology”.

Since 2013, the “Big Four” have been rushing to get a foothold in the legal services sector. PwC was the first of the cohort to step into the legal services arena – they applied for an alternative business license structure in 2013. EY was the first to follow in PwC’s footsteps. Despite not being the first to enter the legal industry, earlier this month, EY Law took the top spot in legal research experts Acritas’ worldwide survey of legal service provider brand recognition. Their recent acquisitions of Pangea3 and Riverview Law have paid off, as there is a correlation between the acquisitions and the increased market awareness they have received, according to Acritas director Jo Summers. It seems like competition between the big four is set to increase.

Report written by Sarina Johal

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