Our aim is to be the transformation partner for our clients in the Tax & Legal domain. 2020/2021 was clearly the year that confirmed this strategy. Our clients’ transformations, prompted by the digitalisation of business models, have taken flight as a result of accelerated developments in society. This is reflected in the type of assignments we received this year and in all the energy and resourcefulness they elicited from our people.
An important part of our overall strategy is cooperation with other specialised services at Deloitte. We believe this provides our clients with significant added value. Within Tax, we worked with our other businesses, especially Consulting, Financial Advisory and Risk Advisory. Within Legal, we cooperated with Risk Advisory in the area of Regulatory, and with Financial Advisory in the area of mergers and acquisitions. Increasingly, the assignments and feedback we receive from clients confirm that this is how we really distinguish ourselves from our competitors.
Cooperation within North and South Europe was further strengthened this past year with the addition of the Middle East. This makes us part of one of the largest member firms within Deloitte Global, and we are gradually developing into a coordinated global tax practice in an increasingly large number of areas. We also significantly invested in the global tax technology platform Intella.
The arrival of Frederieke Leeflang as managing partner of Legal in February 2020 laid the foundation for our work in Legal this year and in the years to come. We finalised our strategic plan, hired the first new partners and built new teams. We also regularly voiced our opinions about both our Legal strategy and wider developments in the legal profession in the media.
Clients are increasingly demanding integrated legal services. This affects both the growth we want to achieve with our Legal service and the fact that we have a different strategy from established law firms. Growth in 2021/2022 was modest, influenced by our focus on establishing a solid foundation for our expected growth in the near future.
As part of our corporate social responsibility, we are increasingly presenting our point of view on the Future of Tax & Legal. As a result, we were more vocal in the media in 2020/2021 on the subject of responsible taxation, and we continued to participate actively in the social debate initiated by the Dutch Ministries of Finance and Justice on the regulation of our professions. This is related to the responsible tax debate that is also taking place internationally; for example, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is promoting a more equitable tax system worldwide. While we support initiatives to come to a more equitable, global tax environment, our concern regarding the number of emerging global initiatives is that it is becoming increasingly complicated for our clients to comply with all these obligations. We are in favour of easily enforceable legislation and in 2020/2021 we published several points of view on this topic.
Making our voice heard in this area is also important regarding the perception of quality under the umbrella of the Future of Tax & Legal, which is linked to Deloitte’s other ‘Future of’ issues, such as Energy, Food, Health, Mobility and Work. All these topics naturally have tax and legal aspects that will help shape our collective future, and we therefore foresee an important role for Tax & Legal.
"As part of our corporate social responsibility, we are increasingly presenting our point of view on the Future of Tax & Legal."
The ‘war for talent’ remains a continuous challenge, partly driven by the evolving labour market and the changes to the way people view the dynamics of the employer–employee relationship. Moreover, COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our employees’ connection with our company. This was something we kept a close eye on throughout the last financial year, and we will continue to pay attention to our social connections and well-being. Furthermore, our focus for 2021/2022 and beyond remains on inclusiveness and diversity, and sustainability is increasingly becoming a self-evident and key part of all our activities.
The volume of major transformations taking place in our business environment means that many opportunities lie in front of us. Therefore, as our clients’ transformation partner, it is important that we continue to invest in three pillars: first, the quality and depth of our tax and legal knowledge; second, our capabilities in the field of technology; and third, our emerging alliances within both Tax and Legal. In that respect, too, we made great strides in 2020/2021, as our experience with major transformation projects grew. In addition, we have an opportunity to capitalise on the growth of our Legal practice, which will remain an important spearhead for our business in the coming years.
Our strategy is to be the transformation partner for our clients in the Tax & Legal domain. The volume of major transformations that are taking place right now in our business demands energy and resourcefulness from our people. I’m very proud of how we managed to stay on top of things during this challenging time.;