KPMG Law's new managing partner Karin Kaup: Work culture of the start-up sector can be applied successfully in legal consulting


According to Karin Kaup, who recently took over as the managing partner of KPMG Law in Estonia, it is necessary to adapt some of the work culture from the start-up world in the modern legal business to ensure competitiveness in the business. KPMG Law grew out of KPMG audit and advisory and has shown exceptional growth, supported in particular by the capability to incorporate expertise from KPMG's other services and to use KPMG Law’s global network.

According to Karin Kaup, the management style inherent in start-ups can be successfully applied in the more conservative business model of a law firm. "Clearly stability and continuity are the essentials in our business, which is why a law firm cannot be run like a start-up. However - bringing some of the working principles known from start-ups into the day-to-day work of the legal firm provides a competitive edge. For example by introducing a work culture that encourages quick action, testing new solutions, brainstorming and teamwork and team responsibility,” says Kaup.

In addition to the corporate work culture, the principles specific to the start-up landscape are, in her mind, also applicable while providing services to the customers. "Looking at today's business landscape and addressing customers' needs, we must remain open to non-traditional work models - for example forming a special team for a customer or outsourcing expertise where necessary. We also need to be willing to work closely with our competitors, should it be in the customer's best interest," said Kaup.

 "While the market is tough, our advantage is clearly KPMG's strong client base both locally and regionally, as we belong to the same group as KPMG in Finland and the rest of the Baltics to KPMG in Sweden," explains Kaup. She sees the functional international network KPMG Law as one of the main reasons for its success and rapid growth in Estonia: “There are several law firms in Estonia with pan-Baltic or regional reach, but the KPMG Law network covers a total of 81 countries, which means we can advise our clients in all of those countries from right here in Tallinn,” explains Kaup. "There are some advantages for long-term KPMG audit, tax or business consulting clients, as our team already knows their business needs. But surely we consult our expert colleagues from KPMG audit, tax and advisory while working with all our clients," Kaup added.

According to Kaup, KPMG Law's long-term direction and main strength is corporate and business law consulting while the main growth potential lies in the areas of transaction consulting, IT intellectual property law, banking and finance law, energy law and dispute resolution.