Legal Business Blogs

Rise of the accountants: EY appoints Addleshaws corporate chief to establish UK legal capability

Global accountancy giant EY has hired Addleshaw Goddard’s corporate managing partner Philip Goodstone in a bid to build up its UK legal credentials.

An EY spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that EY has appointed Philip Goodstone, who will be joining the firm as a partner in September. 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.’

Longstanding Addleshaws partner Goodstone, whose previous clients include Admiral Taverns, Accrue Capital, The Cooperative Group, and Standard Life Investments, is understood to be still working at the LB100 firm as a corporate partner as the terms of his departure are finalised. Leeds-based private equity partner Yunus Seedat has taken over as corporate chief with immediate effect, and is expected to retain key client responsibilities alongside the new leadership role.

The appointment represents a decisive move by Big Four practice EY, which has had the UK’s legal market firmly in its sights for a while. It is understood to have been considering its options under the Legal Services Act to acquire an alternative business structure (ABS) licence since last year.

It also follows that of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which announced on 31 January that it had received approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to become an ABS, meaning it can directly own limited liability partnership, PwC Legal, and bring together its estimated 2,000 global network.

Addleshaws’ managing partner Paul Devitt, said: ‘We will be sorry to see Phil go, and understand that the opportunity to take his career in a different direction was one he didn’t feel able to turn down. Our ambitions for corporate remain unchanged; we will continue to invest in and develop further our strong platform.’