EY today (29 April) took further steps to build its UK legal capability with the hire of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP’s) former head of finance Matthew Kellett, with Kellett set to spearhead the accounting giant’s financial services legal work.
Kellett, who resigned from the top 20 firm last October, will start at EY in September, as the Big Four accountant steadily develops its UK and global legal capabilities, including in March hiring Addleshaw Goddard’s corporate managing partner Philip Goodstone.
A spokesperson for EY said today: ‘We can confirm that EY has appointed Matthew Kellett, who will be joining the firm as a partner in the autumn. The appointment has been made with a view to building a legal capability for EY in the UK, subject to regulatory approval, which would complement the firm’s existing service offerings.
‘He is joining EY to head up the proposed legal capability in the financial services market.’
EY last year hired the former managing partner of Freehills’ Singapore office, John Dick; a precursor to larger expansion plans in the region, as in March EY formally announced plans to expand its legal services business throughout Asia over the coming year.
Earlier this year EY entered the Chinese market via the acquisition of Shanghai-based law firm Chen & Co. So far the only other major accountancy firm that has a legal presence in Asia is Deloitte, through its tie-up with Chinese law firm Qin Li law firm.
EY has said it is looking to expand its offering across Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea and Indonesia, subject to regulatory requirements.
Kellett, meanwhile, who stayed with BLP until the firm found a replacement head in the form of projects and infrastructure partner Adam Dann, sparked with his resignation a review of BLP’s finance practice, conducted by Jomati Consultants.
Other resignations to hit the 786-lawyer firm’s finance practice include Trevor Wood, who left for US firm Mayer Brown last year to be reunited with former colleague Richard Todd. Real estate finance duo Andrew Flemming and Jo Solomon left to join Hogan Lovells in March; banking and capital markets partner Paul Simcock and former head of restructuring Ben Larkin joined Jones Day in March and February respectively; and acquisition finance partner Marcus Jamson, joined Wedlake Bell in January.