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Why Big 4 rush to set up Legal Practices in Hong Kong? 四大搶佔香港法律市場所為何事?

The brand of the Big 4 in the accounting industry must be well known, but this is not the case in the legal sector. But in fact, in 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and Ernst & Young (EY) have actively expanded their legal teams in Hong Kong. In the same year, it was reported that Deloitte also opened a law firm with 25 people. As to KPMG, the latest report states that she has established a law firm called SF Lawyers, which will have 20 lawyers and will operate with KPMG’s Australian law firm and be led by former King & Wood Partners.

Why the Big 4 have to scramble for the legal services market in Hong Kong has caused many speculations, but it is generally believed to be related to the upcoming establishment of the Greater Bay Area. This area has a population of 70 million, covering nine cities including Hong Kong and Macau in the Guangdong Province. It will be another technology and economic hub comparable to the Tokyo and San Francisco Bay Areas. Therefore, it is believed that the Big Four envisage the Great Bay Area will be another Pearl River Delta area, so it will hold a favorable position in the legal service market well in advance to provide a full range of professional services for the venture companies in Greater Bay Area.

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四大會計師事務所在全球審計及會計行業中的名氣,人所共知,但可能他們欲染指法律服務行業則並非人盡皆知。但事實上,在2018年,普華永道(PWC)及安永(EY)更已積極擴充其法律團隊,而同年亦有報導指出德勤也開設了一所擁有25人的律師事務所。至於畢馬威,最新的報道指出,她已經成立一所名為SF Lawyers的律師事務所,這一律所將會有20位律師,而且與畢馬威澳洲的律所共同營運並且由金杜前合夥人領導。

四大為何要搶佔香港的法律服務市場引起不少揣測,但一般相信與大灣區即將成立有關。不少人認為大灣區有著七千萬的人口,涵蓋香港、澳門及廣東省九個城市,將會是媲美東京及三藩市灣區的另一個科技及經濟樞紐,因此一般相信,四大希望大灣區是另一個珠江三角洲, 因而提早在法律服務市場上搶佔有利的地位,以便為大灣區的創科企業提供全方位的專業服務。