May 07, 2019

With Epstein Becker alliance, Deloitte Expands US Legal Ambitions


Employment law and workplace services are next on the agenda of Deloitte, the big four firm looking to deliver legal services to its global clients in the United States.

Almost a year since its alliance with US immigration firm, Berry Appleman & Leiden, Deloitte is looking at its alliance with Epstein Becker Green in a similar manner. Deloitte’s clients will be advised on the legal ramifications and related complexities of operating a workplace in USA by Epstein Becker attorneys. On its part, Deloitte will refer clients to Espstein Becker for legal work on employment and workforce-related matters in the US. Similarly, Epstein Becker clients with international employment concerns will be referred to Deloitte. The “US program” of Deloitte aims to provide global legal services to US-based multinationals.

Presently, a central team and strike teams of lawyers in their home countries work with the tax- and consulting- partners of Deloitte in the US. Acknowledging that Deloitte was barred from delivering legal services in the US, Piet Hein Meeter, global managing director of Deloitte Legal, said, “We decided we cannot cover the U.S. from one location; therefore, seeking alliances is the answer. BAL was the first step into that journey.”

Deloitte Legal after immigration identified employment law as another client need area but had to find a partner. The 45-year-old firm, Epstein Becker, focusing on healthcare, litigation and employment law was the first candidate and the first firm approached by Deloitte.

It took just 2 meetings in New York last fall for Deloitte and Epstein Becker to commit to an alliance. Epstein Becker Managing Partner Jim Flynn said, “It was pretty natural. We had existing relationships that worked with folks at Deloitte. We were looking for additional assets overseas.”

Regarding a European manufacturing company which has a plant in the US and is considering options on what to do with it, Deloitte and Epstein Becker are already working together.

Other areas of collaboration include advice on legal risks and organizational implications of putting artificial intelligence to use in human resource matters and global corporate reorganizations, compensation and benefits design across borders.

The alliance is “non-exclusive” which is both a response to technical restrictions and recognition that under certain circumstances, clients on either side may be better served with alternative expertise.”

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