03 Oct 2022
Global law firm Ashurst has announced it is expanding its consulting offering by setting up a risk advisory business in the UK with a three partner team.
Introducing the Ashurst Risk Advisory business into the UK responds to client demand and is designed to provide consulting services that complement the firm's core legal services. With dedicated teams of legal and consulting professionals working side by side, it brings together the technical expertise and critical thinking required to operationalise laws and regulations and help clients to achieve their goals.
Initially focusing on financial services in the UK, where interest in entering crypto markets and the cyber threats that affect all sectors are particularly driving demand, the launch sees two new partners join the business. Financial crime expert Matthew Russell joins from PwC, alongside top tier financial services conduct and regulatory practitioner Nisha Sanghani from boutique consulting firm Rosediem. They will work alongside partner Matthew Worsfold, who will relocate to London from the firm's Sydney office. As one of the founding members of Ashurst Risk Advisory, Matt leads the risk advisory's data and analytics practice and specialises in risk analytics and data risk management, having supported a variety of clients with innovative data-driven solutions to solve their risk, compliance and legal challenges.
"As we celebrate the second anniversary of the launch of our consulting offering in Australia we are delighted to be accelerating the business' momentum and expanding our risk advisory business into the UK. Our global team will help clients to successfully navigate their most important opportunities and challenges, with offerings aligned to financial services regulation, workplace health and safety, ESG and sustainability, data and analytics and cyber and strategic risk", said Paul Jenkins, Ashurst Global CEO.
Paul added that the establishment of the consulting business' presence in the UK enables the firm to meet clients' most pressing challenges. "One of the key strategic risks facing business leaders across the globe today is the challenge of how to manage fast-moving cyber risks and regulations. Cyber crime in the UK rose sharply during the pandemic while the rise of cyber-attacks mean it is vital that organisations take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity. Our risk advisory business is already supporting the leadership teams and Boards at many of the world's leading organisations to improve the governance, compliance, risk management and crisis response to cyber security, and we are excited to extend this into the UK."
The launch of the UK Risk Advisory offering builds on the success of Ashurst's Australian-based consulting business, now a separate division of the firm, which in its second year of operation delivered triple digit revenue growth. Since launching the business has grown exponentially, both in terms of headcount and client demand, including the appointment of nine partners to bring the total team in Australia to around 100 people. The team provides clients with holistic solutions to effectively implement and operationalise legal advice and obligations. Solutions which are focused on being proportionate, sustainable and defensible and that not only minimise risk and manage change, but which also take into account the whole picture to ultimately help drive improved business performance.
Jamie Ng, Global Head of Ashurst Risk Advisory, said, "A perfect storm of rising inflation and interest rates, accelerating post-Brexit regulatory reform and increasing risks of cyber threats is resulting in businesses reassessing the way in which they manage risk, not least those in the financial services sector. We are also seeing an increased interest from banks and designated investment firms in entering into crypto markets, and this is leading to a fast-evolving regulatory landscape and increased scrutiny for this asset class. Ashurst has an exceptionally strong finance regulatory practice in the UK, which when combined with this new risk advisory offering will enable the firm to meet client demand for assistance in this space."
Jamie added that expanding the consulting business also enables the firm to further strengthen its global offering, bringing together a breadth of perspectives, commercial insights and legal expertise. "Clients rightly expect up-to-the-minute, innovative advice and we are thrilled Nisha and Matthew are joining Ashurst Risk Advisory. Their experience and approach to advising on complex regulatory matters and in managing financial crime risks delivers on this, and ties in perfectly with our existing international financial regulatory and contentious financial services capabilities. The new UK business and the wider financial regulatory practice will also benefit greatly from the arrival of Matt, with his strong track record in designing and implementing innovative data-driven solutions to support clients. His relocation from Sydney to London also helps to reinforce the links between Australia and our finance teams across the UK and Europe which are essential to building a strong global practice," he said.