Ashurst and the battle lines for low-cost law

Here’s a thought. Why should clients pay for firms to have fancy offices in expensive locations?

Here’s a thought. Why should clients pay for firms to have fancy offices in expensive locations?

This was one of the many questions posed by our readers this morning, all referring to Ashurst’s landmark decision to shift a big chunk of support staff operations from London to Glasgow.

It’s a fair point. After all, London is one of the world’s most expensive cities, housing every one of the 20 priciest streets in the country. But believe it or not, there is more to Ashurst’s new Scottish base, set to house 150 employees within a year, than a decision blindly based on where’s cheapest to rent.

Ashurst’s move followed discussions with Scottish Development International (SDI), the international economic development arm of the country’s government. The SDI kept itself super busy last year visiting managing partners at top 50 UK firms in a bid to urge them to open support service offices up north and help boost the local economy.

“We’ve taken note of the success in Northen Ireland,” SDI’s vice-president told us last year, referring to Invest Northern Ireland’s success attracting Allen & Overy and legacy Herbert Smith to set up there.

Expect plenty more where this came from – it’s not just our readers that are asking ‘why the fancy base?’.

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