London (Feb. 7, 2003) -- In a post-Enron environment, smaller accounting firms are discovering new opportunities, which have translated into impressive growth for MSI Legal & Accounting Network Worldwide, the organization announced this week.

The network of independent mid-tier law and accounting firms, formerly known as MacIntyre Sträter International, grew by 51 percent in 2002, boosting its combined annual fee income in the U.S. to $388 million, despite only adding on five firms.

"Although the plight of the Big Four is newsworthy, there are more positive stories in the accounting profession, in particular the growing success of mid-tier firms. The 51 percent growth in MSI’s combined annual fee income in 2002 is clear evidence of this," said marketing director Giles Brake. "Armed with a powerful new brand and with high-quality firms joining the network every month, MSI and its member firms are on the rise, and enjoying an exciting period of steady expansion."

The majority of MSI firms are single-office law and accounting firms, which often provide local representation to large corporations. Local accounting firms in the U.S. include New York’s Reminick Aarons & Co.; Helena, Mont.-based Anderson ZurMuehlen; and Chicago’s Warady & Davis.

"Businesses are realizing that there is a genuine alternative to using larger regional, national or international firms (rather than the Big Four), and that a local independent firm which is a member of a network is now just as able to provide high quality services in multiple jurisdictions," said MSI chief executive James Mendelssohn.

-- Tracey Miller-Segarra

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