PwC takes bet on US firm Fragomen with strategic alliance

Big Four powerhouse PwC and US firm Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy have entered a strategic alliance to jointly pitch for immigration-related work from clients across the world.

PwC’s global immigration practice covers more than 170 countries, while New York-based US immigration specialist Fragomen has more than 50 offices in over 25 countries, including 16 offices across the US. The alliance demonstrates the developing trend of the Big Four accountacy firms moving into legal services provision. 

Both organisations will maintain their own global immigration practices, with the agreement providing them with increased capacity to operate globally for their respective clients. 

For 2017/18 The Lawyer revealed PwC reported that its legal services arm’s UK revenue had risen to a new record, reaching approximately £70m. This would have put the firm at 53 in The Lawyer‘s UK 200 rankings. The organisation was granted an ABS licence in January 2014, when turnover stood at £35.6m. By 2016 that had risen to £59.9m.

PwC’s UK legal services group now includes around 350 fee-earners with 17 full equity partners, another 40 directors and some 30 paralegals. The company launched its own flexible resourcing arm last year, called Flexible Legal Resources (FLR).

PwC’s global immigration head Julia Onslow-Cole said: “Making our respective immigration teams available to clients, particularly in the US, will provide an even deeper level of local insight. The PwC and Fragomen alliance will also facilitate more strategic, global insights on the impact of Government policies on both corporate immigration and mobility.”

Austin Fragomen Jr, the chairman of the executive committee for Fragomen, said: “Immigration strategy and compliance has never been more important in the mobility environment. Our immigration legal expertise, coupled with PwC’s professional services offerings, will give clients an unparalleled opportunity to benefit from a unique collaboration that will help them better manage mobility and mitigate risk in a fast-changing compliance environment.”

PwC has made some significant hires into its legal team in recent months including Reed Smith employment partner Tom Ince last summer and Tom Kerr Williams, who was formerly an employment partner at DLA Piper.

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