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Ashurst launches consulting arm to handle Covid-19 demand with Deloitte partner hire

Ashurst has launched a consulting business with the hire of a senior Deloitte partner in Australia to deal with growing client demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm said today (31 March) it had hired Philip Hardy, a partner at the Big Four consultancy since 2008 and head of its Australian governance, regulation and conduct advisory business. The resulting Ashurst Consulting will initially be offered in Australia and will advise clients on minimising risk, manage change and bolstering business performance.

The risk advisory part of the business led by Hardy launched today, with more partners expected to join in the coming months. It will focus on regulatory compliance, conduct and risk management, initially targeted at financial services clients.

It follows on from the launch on 1 March of a board advisory service for leadership and governance issues, spearheaded by Joshua Smith.

Ashurst global managing partner Paul Jenkins (pictured) said: ‘His experience looking after businesses during the GFC and in the aftermath will be an asset to the global firm and our partners, who will be advising our clients through the multitude of effects Covid-19 is having on their businesses.’

Prior to the coronavirus making itself properly felt in global markets, Ashurst had been making a sustained investment in its European corporate practice, earlier this month hiring high-growth and tech lawyer Jonathan Cohen from Clyde & Co the day after adding Fabio Niccoli from CDP Equity in Milan.

Market turmoil notwithstanding, Ashurst has enjoyed a stronger period than most as firms hunker down to withstand inevitable market reversals. Last year, on the back of three consecutive years of growth, the firm added £77m to its top line to hit £641m for the year to 30 April 2019, a significant 14% increase on the £564m turnover of the previous year. PEP has also soared 31% to £972,000 from last year’s £743,000, putting Ashurst within sight of its stated intention of smashing the £1m PEP barrier this financial year.