We talk to PwC’s Dean Chauhan
Dean, can you summarise your own career?
I trained and qualified as a corporate / commercial lawyer in the East Midlands. After building good hands-on experience in transaction management and technical grounding of commercial law, I decided to focus my efforts on the corporate side because I enjoyed the fast paced nature of transactional work and leading projects. Having spent the next few years at Gateley Plc in Birmingham, I moved to PwC to further my development.
What made you join PwC?
I was attracted by the strong growth plans at PwC, and PwC’s flexible culture that empowers its staff to make their work part of their lives. I was keen to take control of my own career and development - PwC offered me that platform.
How is PwC Legal structured and how integrated is it into the wider business?
The legal offerings provided by PwC’s legal network match those provided by any traditional law firm, but our operating model means that we offer a seamless multidisciplinary service combining our legal capabilities with the expertise which exists across PwC. No other law firm offers such an integrated service.
What are the main growth areas?
Legal Effectiveness Consulting and Managed Legal Services and Technology (collectively known as ‘New Law’) are key growth areas for PwC. These services support in-house legal teams deliver more for less in an increasingly burdensome legal and regulatory environment, and we’re really focused on helping organisations be more efficient. In addition to these, Flexible Legal Resources (FLR) complements our New Law offering.
What types of clients does the firm work with?
Our clients include numerous household names, multinationals and listed groups as well as privately owned companies, high net worth individuals, start-ups, fast growth companies and inbound groups. As a global network with offices in around 158 countries, our clients are far reaching.
How important are the firm’s regional offices to its offering?
Our regional offices are very important to the PwC network. They give our regional clients and colleagues access to lawyers to supplement their business. Our regional presence remains one of PwC’s key focuses in the legal network.
How much collaboration is there between the offices around the country?
PwC’s flexible working culture allows us to work seamlessly with colleagues in other offices. PwC has invested heavily in technology to facilitate this. Whilst based in the Birmingham office, I am frequently visiting our East Midlands and Milton Keynes offices to support colleagues.
What’s the working culture like at PwC?
It’s great, and is unlike anywhere else that I’ve worked. Most of my colleagues would agree that PwC delivers an exceptional service to its clients whilst supporting its staff and promoting a work-life balance.
What are the main differences between PwC and a traditional law firm?
No other law firm offers such an integrated service; nor do they have the geographical reach to support the types of clients PwC has access to. This integrated approach fosters a collaborative working environment amongst our advisors. A common misconception is that we’re an in-house team; we’re not. PwC Legal advises clients in the same way as a traditional law firm.
What opportunities are there at PwC Legal and what attributes does a PwC lawyer need?
Our workload is challenging, yet interesting. We often recruit lawyers that are keen to embrace the challenge of turning their hand to many different types of work rather than doing similar deals time and time again. The nature of working so closely alongside professionals in PwC's various teams, as well as worldwide, leads to an incredibly diverse range of work that the team is asked to assist with. This lends well to lawyers who embrace business development.
Finally, where would you like PwC Legal to be in five years’ time?
Having become a multi-disciplinary practice in 2016, we see legal services embedded in everything PwC does. This means that, over time, we want to have legal services embedded in other parts of the firm, working seamlessly with colleagues with complementary advisory skills to bring our clients holistic solutions to their business problems. It’s an exciting time to be a lawyer at PwC and we’re well positioned to continue to provide a first class professional services to our clients.