|Kevin Dane says growing in-house capabilities with large corporations is leaving law firms to do more niche work and that requires firms to be more innovative in the way they seek clients.|
Wildeboer Dellelce LLP and Moodys Gartner Tax Law LLP have announced they are forming a strategic alliance to provide services to clients on a referral basis.
Wildeboer Dellelce is a corporate business finance transactional firm based in Toronto while Moodys Gartner Tax is based in Calgary but has offices across Canada and Buffalo, N.Y.
“We have a number of law firms we refer business to that are also not full-service firms, but this is more structured in that they [Moodys] are making a commitment to be in Toronto on a regular basis and we’re making a commitment to be in Calgary on a regular basis,” says Kevin Dane, chief operating officer with Wildeboer Dellelce LLP.
Moodys Gartner provides tax advisory, planning, dispute resolution and compliance services for individuals and businesses with interests in Canada, the U.S. or both.
“We’ve agreed to introduce our clients to their lawyers and accountants and likewise they’ve agreed to do the same,” says Dane. “They deal with a lot of high-net-worth individuals who need cross-border tax advice, and behind those types of individuals are generally corporations and companies, so we see a natural opportunity to be introduced to some of their clients and vice versa.”
In early January, Moodys Gartner announced it was also entering a “collaborative agreement” with Andersen Tax. That relationship is a two-way referral agreement in which Moodys Gartner will join numerous other global tax practitioners as part of Andersen Tax’s international association of member firms, Andersen Global.
Dane says the arrangement with Moodys is a way of responding to the way the business of the profession is evolving and how firms can retain specialized work.
“The legal profession is undergoing significant change,” he says. “Growing in-house capabilities with large corporations are leaving law firms to do what I would say is more niche and novel work and that requires us to be more innovative in the way we seek clients that can get value from our service,” says Dane. “This is a way of doing that.”
The two firms will continue operating as separate entities and Dane says there is no intent to go further than the alliance they announced March 8.
“We’re both very happy with the state of our business, but we feel that together we can do more than we can apart,” says Dane.
“We have been servicing our clients in Toronto for a long time and this alliance with Wildeboer Dellelce will only strengthen our ability to serve those clients. Our firms offer quite different, yet complementary, services and we look forward to a long-lasting and fruitful relationship with Wildeboer Dellelce,” said Kim Moody, director, Canadian Tax Advisory at Moodys Gartner, in a statement.
“Our alliance with Moodys Gartner helps to reinforce our strong tax foundation by adding another layer of private client and U.S. and cross-border tax expertise. It also represents a significant milestone in our goal to be a service leader in Calgary, one of Canada’s largest financial centres. The alliance also allows our firm to extend its services into Western Canada generally and Edmonton and Vancouver specifically. We are very excited to work with Moodys Gartner and to connect with existing and new contacts in these very important geographical markets,” said Perry Dellelce, managing partner of Wildeboer Dellelce, in a statement.