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EY makes further inroads into the legal sector after acquiring Thomson Reuters’ LPO arm

Less than a year after it acquired Riverview Law, EY has maintained its acquisitive form by agreeing to buy the managed legal services business of Thomson Reuters.

The acquisition of the business, named Pangea3, will see EY bolster its corporate legal department by more than 1,000 legal professionals across eight service delivery lines. Pangea3 aims to mitigate legal risk, reduce cost and provide efficiency to legal teams.

Unlike the expansionist EY, the sale comes as part of continued streamlining for Thomson Reuters. In August of last year, when EY was buying Riverview, Thomson Reuters agreed the sale of 55% of its financial risk business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone, while the Thomson Reuters Elite business that provides most of the company’s remaining legal sector products. The cost of the latest acquisition has not been disclosed, however the deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019, subject to various closing conditions.

The agreement sees EY’s footprint in the legal sector deepen further. Its Big Four counterpart Deloitte signaled its intent in January when it hired Allen & Overy banking partner Michael Castle to lead its anticipated UK legal arm. The hire made Deloitte the last of the Big Four to establish its UK legal presence after acquiring its alternative business structure licence in January 2017.

EY’s global chairman and CEO, Mark Weinberger, said: ‘This new enhanced offering will make EY one of the leading professional services organisations for global legal advisory services and legal operations services, including legal function advisory, managed services and technology. The acquisition is an example of how EY is working to provide clients with holistic solutions, which are enabled by technology.’