Ashurst’s once-admired M&A reputation has taken a pounding of late. One former partner delivers representative sentiments: ‘Corporate was the jewel in the crown. The firm has changed from what it was six or seven years ago.’ Another notes: ‘It used to be joint number one with Clifford Chance for private equity. The practice faded away as it focused outside London.’
A controversial Australia merger, a soft run of financial performance and the loss in recent years of prominent partners has taken a major toll on its brand as a serious plc deal adviser.