EY takes Addleshaw’s duo in legal services push

BUSINESS adviser EY has followed rivals KPMG and PwC with a major move into the regional corporate legal services market.

The firm has lured former Addleshaw Goddard national managing partner Paul Devitt and fellow corporate partner Richard Thomas.

The move will be seen as a real statement of intent in the professional services community, and continues an increasing trend in the market, which was kickstarted regionally by KPMG with its hire of Nick Roome from DLA Piper and latterly with PwC which appointed former Addleshaw Goddard partner Neal Shepherd in October 2014.

Devitt and Thomas will be based in Manchester and EY intends to grow a team around them.

These latest hires follow a number of recent appointments to EY’s UK legal services business. Since acquiring an ABS licence in December, the team has grown to over 25 people and is set to expand further over the next two years.

Philip Goodstone, head of EY’s legal services practice in the UK said: “This is a really exciting time to be joining EY. As we continue to grow our legal services practice, we remain focussed on finding the best talent and I’m confident that Paul and Richard will be fantastic additions to the team. They are both exceptional lawyers with outstanding reputations in both the North West and the UK more widely.”

Simon Allport, EY’s North West senior partner added: “The North West is a strategically important market for EY and we remain focused on continuing to invest in the region. This includes developing our legal services business here, and Paul and Richard’s experience will be vital in helping our clients to thrive and supporting our growth ambitions in the North West.”

In a statement Addleshaw Goddard said: “Paul Devitt and Richard Thomas have resigned from our partnership to join EY. They will remain as partners in the business until expiry of their notice on 31 May 2016.

“After 22 years in our business, including five years as managing partner, Paul understandably feels ready for a new environment following a return in May 2014, to a full-time transactional role, and he goes with our very best wishes.

“It is always disappointing to lose talented people and we will be sorry to see Richard leave. He has been a great partner and we will miss him. The chance to build a practice in a different sphere of professional services is an attractive alternative for Richard and he goes with our best wishes.”