International law firm Ashurst has launched a consulting arm in Australia after hiring a partner from Deloitte.
Philip Hardy, former head of Deloitte's Australian governance, regulation and conduct advisory business, has joined the firm to help spearhead the new initiative to provide specialist consulting advice to complement the firm's core legal services.
He will head up a Risk Advisory arm, offering regulatory compliance, conduct and risk management advice, initially targeted at financial services clients.
The unit will sit alongside a Board Advisory team, which focuses on complex high-level leadership and governance issues and is headed by Joshua Smith, who joined the firm last year.
Ashurst global managing partner Paul Jenkins said Hardy was “a genuine leader in this field” who would be “advising our clients through the multitude of effects COVID-19 is having on their businesses”.
The firm said the move was in response to client demands for holistic solutions that help them comply with the complex regulatory and legal frameworks in which they operate.
Jenkins added that the launch was driven by the firm's 2023 strategy, which includes the development of services that are adjacent to core legal services and which fulfil client needs.
The new service will initially be offered in Australia with more partners expected to join in the coming months. Hardy said the firm was “building a prestige risk brand. I look forward to the opportunity to build something distinctive, with the strategic intent of a global law firm behind me.”
The move makes Ashurst the latest of a raft of law firms to expand their services into new areas, which typically include consulting, legal resourcing and managed legal services.