UK 200 position: 12
There was more change for Ashurst during 2011–12 than in a typical year. The firm went live with its merger with Australian firm Blake Dawson on 1 March, although the tie-up is not as bold as had been widely touted: a full financial merger will not happen until both partnerships vote to approve integration, which is scheduled for 2014.
Meanwhile, the firm’s Paris banking partner, James Collis, replaced London litigator Simon Bromwich as managing partner in May, six months before the latter’s term was due to end. Collis has returned to London to take on the new role, with much of his portfolio taken up with bedding in the Blake deal.
Turnover was up 6 per cent this year as a like-for-like figure excluding fees coming from the Blake tie-up, rising from £303m to £322m.
Ashurst’s ambition is to become one of the world’s top international firms through its “premier global” strategy, which involves expanding in Asia and Europe, with launches in Seoul and Beijing coming soon on the back of last year’s launch in Rome. It also snapped up two partners from defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Frankfurt office.
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5 Appold Street
Turnover (£m): 322
Total lawyers: 822