Ashurst to go global as China goldrush beckons

Ashurst to go global as China goldrush beckons” />Ashurst is overhauling its international strategy to focus on ramping up its Asia presence, including launching in mainland China or Hong Kong, in a break with the firm’s traditionally Eurocentric strategy.

Senior partner Geoffrey Green said that during the next three years the firm will target rapid growth in five key overseas jurisdictions – China, Dubai, India, Japan and Singapore – after successfully meeting its targets in London and Continental Europe a year ahead of schedule.

“Europe is now at critical mass,” said Green. “We’re pleased with our Continental European offering, so we’re now going to spend more time looking at wider growth. Asia is the firm’s medium-term objective.”

Ashurst has small existing presences in Dubai, Singapore and Tokyo and a representative office in New Delhi, but it has been conspicuously absent from mainland China and Hong Kong.

Green said the firm was reviewing China with a view to launching an office in either Shanghai or Hong Kong within three years. The firm is likely to opt for a sole Shanghai presence.

As part of the new focus, Ashurst is also targeting lateral oil and gas hires in Singapore, increased bengoshi ranks in Tokyo, stronger links with Indian firms with a view to a potential joint venture if the market opens up and bolstering its Dubai presence to 15 lawyers by April.

Managing partner Simon Bromwich said the strategy for the Middle East could also include “a small presence in one of the other emirates”.

The strategy change follows Ashurst’s promising half-year results, which showed a 28 per cent revenue jump on the previous year, driven in part by the resurgence of its German practice, as reported on www. thelawyer.com (2 November).