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Deloitte ehf.

SMARATORG 3, 201 KOPAVOGUR, ICELAND
Tel:
Work +354 580 3000
Fax:
Fax +354 580 3001
Email:
Web:
www.deloittelegal.com

Bjarni Thor Bjarnason,Legal leader

Bjarni Thor Bjarnason, Legal leader of Deloitte ehf. discusses how the firm is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Deloitte ehf. from your competitors?

We have a presence globally, where our clients need us, with over 1,750 lawyers in more than 75 countries. We care as much about our clients’ long term success as we do for the short term outcome of a project. We speak the language of the boardroom, business language, not just legalese. What matters to us is to win great clients and to make an impact on their businesses. Our services are interdisciplinary, covering all business issues. We have wide-ranging and in-depth experience and understanding of sectors, industries and markets. We possess collective expertise available on a firm-wide basis. Our focus is on pragmatic solutions for businesses and we have structuring skills. We provide legal services with emphasis on tax efficiency.

Which practices in your member firm do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

We believe growing practices will be international tax, M&A related legal services, banking and finance. The drivers are stronger economy, the lifting of capital controls in Iceland in addition to stronger emphasis on these practices within the firm.

The second area that we expect to grow is technology transfer. This area is driven by the government’s policies which now encourage business owners to “Make in India” and strongly emphasize the importance of intellectual property laws in the country.

What’s the main change that you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Our team has recently been strengthened with the addition of new experienced lawyers from two highly regarded law firms. We are focused on meeting changing environment with the strongest team possible which will have the emphasis on providing value adding solutions for our clients.

How is technology changing the way you interact with your clients and the services you can provide them?

Digital natives are used to obtaining the information they need online – increasingly also in our field of business. Apart from the substantial amount of information already presented on our website – such as the International Dismissal Survey or the legal topics in the successful tax@hand app– we are now moving towards an interactive presentation of information about legal topics.

We see a rising interest of clients in understanding and harnessing the power of state-of-the-art document analysis and document automation tools. While there is no “magic bullet”, significant efficiency gains can be achieved by carefully matching the strengths and weaknesses of the available tools with the concrete task that the client is facing.

Can you give a practical example of how you’ve helped a client add value to their business?

Recently, upon our initiative, we assisted a large international construction shop to reclaim a large amount in VAT credit from the Icelandic Tax Authorities that our client would otherwise have missed.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Clients are looking for to-the-point legal advice which provides value to their businesses at a fair price. To be a leading firm in our market we will have to assist our clients in a world that´s becoming more complex every year. We must however take our clients circumstances and environment into account and avoid adding unnecessary burden to their businesses. In three years’ time we see ourselves as leading in our market with value added solutions as the main focus.

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