World Services Group

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World Services Group
Industry Association, Network
Founded 2002
Founder Stephen J. McGarry
Headquarters Houston, United States
Area served
Key people
Gary Assim (Chairman)
Robert Falvey (Global Ambassador)
Maricarmen Trujillo
(Chief Operating Officer) Jessica Ferdinand (Chief Marketing Officer)
Services Multidisciplinary Network
Investment banking

WSG, also branded as World Services Group, is a multidisciplinary professional services network of independent law, accounting and investment banking firms. It ranks as one of the largest among the more than 200 professional services networks in the world. WSG members are independent law, accounting and investment banking firms. According to the organization's website as of 2016, WSG was formed in 2002 as a multidisciplinary network with the objective of bringing together professionals in a professional services network that creates business opportunities and relationships to better service their clients globally. Its members have more than 19,000 professionals in more than 115 countries in almost 400 offices. Its global headquarters are located in the Houston, Texas,[1]


Multidisciplinary professional services networks were an important phenomenon in the late 1990s and early part of 2000.[2] The Big 4 accounting firms were creating their own multidisciplinary networks by acquiring legal departments. Their objective was to share fees with the lawyers in the network. The shear potential of these potentially massive networks threatened independent law firms and questioned the whether or not it was a violation of the rules of legal ethics prohibiting fee sharing with non-lawyers.[3] After the fall of Enron, it became clear that a law firm controlled by an accounting firm and providing services to a common client contained an inherent conflict of interest. This led to the passage of Sarbanes–Oxley effectively prohibiting accounting firms from providing legal services through a controlled law firm. However, independent law and accounting firms creating networks in which no facilities and client profits were shared remained permissible[4] allowing a number of networks to take advantage of the availability of this exception for multidisciplinary networks.[5] They included Alliott Group,[6] MSI Global Alliance[7] Morison International,[8] the Geneva Group[9] and World Services Group.[10]

Focus Today In 2010, the board made the decision focus on three services: legal, accounting and investment banking/financial services.

A technical platform[edit]

Different from traditional networks in the industry, WSG's development centered on a technical platform to provide multi-tier networking capabilities.[11] This allows the building of relationships and the maintenance, growth and interaction of members. The proprietary technology permits individual professionals to access each other, communicate, develop relationships, and establish internal preferences. Additionally, the systems content is individualized for each professional. The result is a database of 12,000 professionals at the member firms who can be identified by any terms within their profiles. WSG is one of the first global transparent networks of professionals that can be accessed for both their location, their expertise and experience challenging the industry to keep up with current advances.

Corporate governance[edit]

WSG is a global professional services network of independent firms who represent their own individual client. In WSG, like most of these organizations member firms are individually evaluated and selected.[12] WSG is governed by a board of directors consisting of representatives from each region and from the various services that the members provide. WSG operates and is managed by a staff of eight professionals in the US.


  • Robert Falvey - Global Ambassador & Chairman Emeritus
  • Gary Assim- Chairman
  • Larry B. Pascal - Chairman Elect
  • Mark J. Harty - Secretary
  • Alejandro Antillon A. – Treasurer
  • Maricarmen Trujillo - Chief Operating Officer
  • Jessica Ferdinand - Chief Marketing Officer


The 16 directors are representative of their regions.

Global structure[edit]

WSG is divided into six regions: Africa and Middle East, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Each region has a regional council consisting of six WSG member representatives. All WSG members are recognized as leading independent firms in their region by the top ranking publications and awards including,[13] Members regularly rank in Chambers and Partners,[14] Super Lawyers,[15] Best Lawyers,[16] Legal 500,[17] International Financial Law Review 1000[18] and other rating organizations

Africa and Middle East[edit]

Region consists of 16 member countries with over 600 professionals. There is currently no regional council chair.

Asia Pacific[edit]

Region consists of 21 member countries with over 1300 professionals. The regional council chair is Rebecca Silli of MinterEllison [19] in China.


Region consists of firms in 8 countries with over 150 professionals. The regional council is headed by Judith Whitehead of Graham Thompson the largest law firm in Bahamas.


Region has 44 members with over 6,000 professionals. It is the largest network after the Big 4 accounting networks The regional council is headed by Dirk W. Kolvenbach of Heuking Kuhn Luer Wojtek [20] one of the largest law firms in the country.

Latin America[edit]

The Latin America region has 21 members with over 1,400 professionals. Its regional council is led by Ramon Ignacio Moyano of Estudio Beccar Varela[21] one of the largest law firms in the country.

N. America[edit]

The North American region has 25 members with over 6,000 professionals. Its regional council is led by Hunter Rost of Waller [22]

Representative members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ WSG Retrieved on August 31, 2013.
  2. ^ American Bar Association Commission on Multidisciplinary Practices, Final Report, Appendix C, Reporter’s notes, July 2000
  3. ^ Jacobs, “Accounting Firms Covert Forbidden Fruit: Piece of the U.S. Legal Market", Wall Street Journal, p.B1 (May 31, 2000)
  4. ^ Final Report, ABA Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice (2000) Commission Report
  5. ^ Perera, H. A. Rahman and S. Cahan “Globalization and the Major Accounting Firms” Australian Accounting Review 13(1) 27-37 (2003)
  6. ^ Alliott Group
  7. ^ MSI Global Alliance,
  8. ^ Morison International
  9. ^ Geneva Group
  10. ^ WSG
  11. ^ Well Connected The Lawyer, September 19, 2010
  12. ^ McPhee, Jennifer, Going Global - Report on Law Associations, Canadian Lawyer, February 2007.
  13. ^ See The Lawyer European Awards
  14. ^ Chambers and Partners
  15. ^ Super Lawyers,
  16. ^ Best Lawyers
  17. ^ Legal 500
  18. ^ International Financial Law Review 1000
  19. ^ MinterEllison
  20. ^ Heuking Kuhn Luer Wojtek
  21. ^ QEstudio Beccar Varela
  22. ^ Waller.

External links[edit]