Moore Stephens has confirmed the establishment of a new legal services division, based in its Victorian office and headed by Alexander Nielsen, a former partner at law firm Dentons.
Mr Nielsen said the new legal arm would challenge the traditional mid-tier model by providing clients with a multidisciplinary approach rarely found outside of the big four.
“Our accounting and business advisers have many high-quality relationships, and as a lawyer, it’s a rare privilege to become part of a client’s core team,” Mr Nielsen said.
“This is a chance for clients to receive multidisciplinary advice and change the way clients engage with their team of advisers. It’s a single team, with our client’s best interest front of mind.”
Moore Stephens Victoria chief executive Steve Sakkas said that adding a legal offering was a “logical next step” for the mid-tier firm.
“With clients experiencing more complex tax and advisory issues, adding a legal offering to the network was a logical next step. Clients are asking us to provide more holistic advice around complex issues. Alex can work alongside a client’s existing advisers or provide independent counsel on a matter,” Mr Sakkas said.
A recent restructure at Moore Stephens saw the departure of Peter Antonius from his role as chief executive, after five years at the helm.
According to chair David Tomasi, the catalyst for the change was due to a regional restructure initiated by Moore Stephens International Limited (MSIL), with the Australian arm now part of the greater Asia-Pacific region.
The last financial year also saw a record number of accounting graduates recruited across the network, with 40 graduates joining.
Mr Tomasi said investment in people and consolidation of recent growth have been a key focus for the network not only in Australia but throughout the network globally.
“In today’s ever-changing world, we need to be able to keep pace with the services being demanded by our clients,” he said.
“The recent addition of these services plus those we have delivered over the past 12 to 18 months demonstrates Moore Stephens’ commitment to stay relevant and continue to be known for the provision of quality solutions.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.