KPMG launches latest legal services practice in Thailand

19 February 2020 3 min. read

KPMG has launched its end-to-end legal services arm in Thailand with a team of more than 50 legal staff, including 25 licensed lawyers with diverse industry experience.

Following its launch in Indonesia and last year, Thailand has become the latest dot on the Southeast Asian map to welcome KPMG Legal, the global consultancy’s legal services and support arm. Established by KPMG in Thailand alongside its audit, tax and advisory branches, KPMG Legal will provide a full range of business law services backed by a 50-strong team of legal professionals, including 25 licensed lawyers

“We need to be able to identify future trends and upcoming industries in order to be ready with our team of experts to serve our clients,” said KPMG Thailand CEO Charoen Phosamritlert, who also oversees Myanmar and Laos. “With KPMG Legal and our strong background in various business industries, we will be able to provide our customers with a holistic legal counsel service backed by a team of business-savvy legal advisors.”

In a press release, the firm stated that its legal advisors would also work with other KPMG professionals as part of an integrated ‘one-KPMG’ team, with KPMG Thailand home to over 1,500 staff: “The network of legal professionals is deeply embedded into KPMG’s wider industry practices, allowing for legal professionals to be exposed to emerging industry trends, providing deep insight into key sector-specific issues.”

Charoen Phosamritlert and Stuart Fuller - KPMG

The new Thai practice joins a KPMG Legal network now covering almost 80 jurisdictions worldwide, with a headcount of 2,400-plus lawyers offering a full range of services in areas such as commercial and corporate law, mergers & acquisitions, and employment and privacy law. The launch, according to Stuart Fuller, KPMG’s Global Head of Legal Services, reflects the firm’s global strategy to grow its legal services capacity.

To date, much of the focus among the Big Four in building their legal services business has centered on the Asia Pacific as somewhat of an early battleground – highlighted perhaps by Fuller’s promotion last year, alongside fellow Australia-based legal executive Tony O'Malley at PwC, to head up the function at the global level. In addition to Indonesia, KPMG Legal also launched last year in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

“The increasing relevance of the Asia Pacific to our clients from a markets, business and strategic perspective has seen KPMG’s Global Legal Services network expand in Hong Kong and Shanghai in the last 12 months,” said Fuller, further citing strong growth in Australia, Vietnam and Taiwan. “As part of our Asia Pacific and ASEAN strategy, we expect to see strong and continuing growth in our legal services footprint.”

Meanwhile, as the Big Four consultancies continue their push into the market, traditional law firms – such as HFW in Singapore and more recently off-shore specialist Carey Olsen – are responding by establishing their own consulting lines in the region. The latest, announced just last week, is international law firm Crowell & Moring, with the launch of policy and regulatory consulting affiliate C&M International in Singapore.