One of the largest accountancy firms has restructured its affiliated law firms, signalizing that accountancy firms are ready to go mainstream with their legal offering in Canada, supporting their clients with corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate secretarial services.

“That’s a big move, because none of the other big accountancy firms are doing business law in Canada. They have all spent the last 15 to 20 years out on the periphery doing tax and immigration law, and maybe a bit of trade law. Now EY is moving to the centre, which sets the stage for a big change in this country,” Cameron says. “Law firms should be afraid, very afraid. We’ve all been waiting for it, and now it seems like the accountants finally actually are making their move.”

Janice Wright, the co-founder of Toronto litigation boutique Wright Temelini LLP, says larger law firms in particular should take notice of EY’s branching out, since they are likely to be swimming in the same pool of potential clients. She says multinationals could find EY’s new offering especially attractive thanks to the prospect of a global “one-stop shop” for professional services.

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