Legal liability attached to advances in technology are increasingly becoming topical risks on the corporate agenda. Together with the introduction of various new technology laws that regulate access and activity on the Web, social media and smart devices, such developments have seen the demand for specialised technology legal services increase.
As such, PwC has added momentum to the growth of its technology practice with the acquisition of leading technology law firm, Chetty Law.
PwC is growing and enhancing its technology practice significantly, both locally and globally, and has recognised that there is a gap in its current solution offering. This can be addressed by introducing a technology and innovation legal practice area within PwC’s service range, which will be housed within its technology practice.
“We are pulling all of our technology practices together under one umbrella so that when we go to the market, we go in as a single technology practice that is able to offer one holistic solution that is backed by long-established skills and expertise,” says Mark O’Flaherty, partner at PwC South Africa.
Over-and-above PwC’s current growing technology offering, it aims to provide clients with a holistic solution for their needs that is backed by specialised legal expertise within the firm. It is evolving and looking at innovative solutions that will support the dynamic business strategies of its current and future clients, while working with them in developing sustainable frameworks to move forward and grow.
“As such, we have found the ideal synergies with Chetty Law. This firm was identified as having the best people, such as founder Pria Chetty, and its exceptional track record in establishing technology and innovative law in South Africa aligns with PwC’s strategic objectives and vision to become a dominant market player in the technology arena,” adds O’Flaherty.
Chetty started the law firm, Chetty Law, in 2007 to promote and provide specialist legal services in the realm of technology, innovation and ICT for development activities in Africa and South Africa.
Four years on, the firm counts many of South Africa’s largest corporate companies, public and nonprofit organisations, and most innovative entrepreneurs as clients. Chetty Law has also actively participated in technology and innovation policy related research and reform locally and internationally.
Chetty described the move as “a welcomed opportunity to benefit from and contribute to an established global firm, as well as, the knowledge and influence present. This opportunity is further distinguished as an opportunity to define the technology and innovation law practice area – an offer we couldn’t refuse”.
“We have every reason to believe that this is a positive, coming of age time for the firm. We are greatly looking forward to the multitude of possibilities that will flow from the opportunity, more especially the powerful platform provided within PwC for Chetty Law to extend its proudly African technology law voice,” she adds.
According to Pria Chetty, the firm stands out from its competitors. “Chetty Law commenced with the intention to establish a corporate law firm that was in touch with technology law practice and reform ensuring insight and participation at every level of technology law developments.”
PwC had a choice of IT legal firms to align itself with, but it chose the one which it viewed as the most dynamic and innovative thinkers that aligned with PwC’s technology practice.
O’Flaherty says the breadth of the Chetty Law technology law offering, combined with its strong reputation and depth of skills and expertise, allows PwC to offer its clients extended value.
The new PwC technology and innovation legal practice will launch its service offering in the upcoming months, but is certain that it will continue to service entrepreneurs and the ICT for development sector as part of its strategy moving forward.
“This does not signal the end of Chetty Law, but rather the evolution of the firm to an even more prominent position,” concludes Chetty.