Big Five firm Ernst & Young is to set up an associated law firm after poaching two senior partners from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ tied law firm. Christopher Tite and Mark Lewis, founding partners of Arnheim Tite & Lewis defected to Ernst & Young last week. Both were integral members of the practice with Tite as managing partner and Lewis head of IT and telecoms. The defections come as a major blow to the firm, set up just two years ago from the merger of Pricewaterhouse’s former law firm Arnheim & Co with Tite & Lewis. It also follows the loss of six partners last year who left to set up KPMG’s law company KLegal. Tite and Lewis are understood to have left after disagreements over the direction of the UK practice. Chris Arnheim has assumed immediate control of the company and will be assisted by Alan Morris, head of its global legal network. PwC declined to comment. Mystery still surrounds the timing of Ernst & Young’s new venture with the company refusing to release any details. ‘At this stage we can only confirm that Christopher Tite and Mark Lewis will be establishing a corresponding law firm for Ernst & Young,’ a spokeswoman said.
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