Clearly the legal profession is consolidating by merger. Consolidation frequently occurs as industries mature. It has already happened in other professional and service industries such as accounting, consulting, banking and insurance. Consolidation by merger is the primary method by which the Big Four accounting firms emerged, and merger continues in financial services industries, as regulation allows, both intra-industry (e.g., banking) and inter-industry (e.g., insurance and investment brokerage, banking and insurance). Until inhibited by provisions of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, combined accounting/consulting/law firms in the form of MDPs (Multi-Disciplinary Partnerships) had emerged on an international scale, led by major global accountancies.