PwC appoints new legal services head as Brookes steps down

PwC’s Shirley Brookes has stepped down as the big four accountant’s head of legal services, with employment partner Ed Stacey (pictured) succeeding her in the role.

Brookes became head legal at PwC in 2013 and will remain at the firm as a partner.

Stacey will continue as head of employment law at PwC, alongside his new role as head of legal services. During his time at PwC, he has played a key role advising on issues such as gender pay gap reporting requirements.

He trained at legacy CMS Cameron McKenna before moving in-house to the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1999. He joined PwC in 2001 and became partner in July 2009.

Stacey said: “We have seen exceptional growth across our business in recent years and I am looking forward to leading the next phase of our growth plans. Our aim remains to focus on those areas that complement the services PwC provides more broadly to give our clients holistic, innovative business solutions to their issues.

“We will remain committed to building a diverse, national team of lawyers with opportunities to achieve flexibility for both them and our clients in how we deliver our services.”

PwC’s legal services division is made up of 17 partners, 31 directors and a 350-person UK team. The team is split across London, Belfast, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. The legal division provides advice in areas such as cybersecurity and data protection, corporate reorganisation, disputes, employment, immigration, M&A, pensions and technology.

PwC recently launched a flexible lawyering service as part of its ‘New Law’ offering for large in-house legal teams.

The new service, dubbed Flexible Legal Resources, will help clients with their staffing needs by providing temporary lawyers for in-house teams during abnormal spikes in workload.

PwC’s New Law offering aims to help large in-house legal teams work more efficiently, with a particular focus on effective use of technology.

PwC recently opened a law firm in the US, in the latest evidence of the concerted push into legal services by the Big Four accounting firms. The firm, ILC Legal, which is based in Washington DC, will assist US clients on international issues and act as a marketing operation to generate work that can be referred to PwC’s existing legal services network.