Simon Drane, December 7th 2018.

A week before attending the professional services event “Alternative AI & Blockchain for Professional Services “, I shared an article on LinkedIn that I had read in the FT on the Big 4 disrupting legal services. Within a very short time it was viewed over 10,000 times and had 100 likes. I have shared some posts before but never had that many readers so I was intrigued. The comments others made also seemed to echo my own thoughts on why the Big 4 would likely be successful, having seen first hand when I worked for Andersen the ambition for expanding into law. I suggested that the Big 4 would likely be successful as they focused on processes well, understood the power of technology and were perhaps more focused on how to run a profitable business and solve their clients’ business problems in a more holistic manner.

At the event this week though, I realised the most obvious reason for why they may be successful. Shamus Rae, partner at KPMG, gave a fascinating talk about their project called “Engine B”, which in essence is a project to look at how you would disrupt yourself, and also some really fascinating thinking around the creation of a common data model which would create a more secure marketplace, cut costs and increase quality.

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