Pinsent Masons has named its first regional head of innovation and project delivery as Alison Laird takes the position for Asia Pacific.

Laird will report directly to Pinsents director of knowledge and innovation delivery David Halliwell from the firm’s Melbourne base.

However, the firm has said that Laird will work remotely across its three Australian offices in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Haliwell said: “There is a huge amount of enthusiasm for doing things differently across the firm, and our clients are keen to learn more about how we can help them solve their commercial challenges with a combination of people, process and our market-leading technology.

“Alison’s appointment to the new role will see us continuing to build out our already strong offering in innovation globally.”

Part of Laird’s remit will be to continue the expansion of Pinsents’ regional projects, one of which is the firm’s flexible-lawyering service Vario.

Speaking to The Lawyer in July, Vario director Matthew Kay said that he was targeting 50 to 80 lawyers on the service by April 2018 to join a crop of more than 300 ‘varios’ globally.

Laird said: “Pinsent Masons has a long track-record of innovating to help clients achieve their objectives and I’m delighted to officially join this forward-thinking firm. It’s a great opportunity to collaborate, experiment, think differently and ultimately add value to the business and our clients through strategic innovation.”

The firm has made a concerted effort to push into the innovation space, though announced that it had reached agreement with Dow Jones to sell its majority stake in compliance and regulation consultancy business Cerico for an undisclosed sum.

As part of its range of subsidiary offerings, the firm also counts client-facing diversity consultancy Brook Graham and new law business Yuzu in its stable.

Pinsent Masons head of Australia David Rennick said: “Alison has been a valued member of our team since she began contracting for us last year. We are thrilled Alison is joining the firm in an official capacity, and we look forward to seeing the changes she’ll continue to bring to our culture and the solutions we deliver for our clients.”