About Us
About Us

Celebrating our bicentenary

Ashurst 200 years: 1822–2022

We are looking forward to celebrating our bicentenary this year.

Imagine what our London founder, William Henry Ashurst, would think if he could see the firm today. He and his family championed progressive ideas so he would not be surprised to see the global reach, our deep relationships with our clients, nor the changes in legal practice and technology. He would be proud of our focus on pro bono and CSR.

Our history also has deep roots in Australia. In the past decade the most important story in our history was the full integration of Ashurst and Australian firm Blake Dawson in 2013, bringing together two great law firms of similar tradition, size and culture and with complementary sectors of focus. Together, we created one team, one name and one brand from the outset, paving the way to becoming a premier global law firm.

Our talented lawyers focus on solutions for our clients. We work with world leading corporations, financial institutions and governments, contributing to the building of industries and nations, the development of legal and business reforms, and supporting our communities across the globe.

We are proud to launch our purpose as part of our celebrations: 

 
Together, we create the extraordinary
with our people, clients and communities
 

And we are excited to see what the future will bring.

Here we share a few stories about our extraordinary impact, legacy and our Ashurst family and we invite you to sign-up to hear more about our celebrations in 2022 and to contribute your stories using the form at the bottom of this page.

Extraordinary impact

The progress of Ashurst from its early days is also the story of the development of law, society and commerce. Here we share some of our extraordinary stories and achievements:





Ashurst’s first client – James Morrison
Australia's largest ever commercial litigation proceedings – the Bell matter
NewLaw – technology working together with expertise
Infrastructure in pictures
From the start we have helped our clients not only with legal advice to build their businesses, but also with their aspirations.
The Bell matter was the longest-running and largest piece of litigation the firm has conducted. It was also the biggest verdict in Australian legal history.

In 1822, Charles Babbage published a proposal for a forerunner of the modern computer, for calculating logarithms. Today Ashurst Advance, our NewLaw division combines innovation and technology with our expertise to meet clients’ needs and drive efficiency.

Starting with deft advice on the building of Liverpool Station in London in the 1860s, we have worked as key advisors on many iconic infrastructure projects across the transport sector.

 Find out more >Find out more >Find out more >  Find out more >
Celebrating women in law – the first hundred years Ashurst in Asia A painter in the Madrid officeSustainable business – leading for the future
In 2018 we reached 100 years of women practising law across the majority of Australian states. We marked the centenary with a photomosaic portrait of Ada Evans, the first Australian woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Laws. In recognition of the UK celebrating 100 years of women in law in 2019, the Ashurst First Women team in the UK produced a publication: "First Women: Stories of Women at Ashurst".
The combination of Ashurst and Blake Dawson in March 2012, when we combined our Asian practices before the full integration on 1 November 2013, paved the way for our Asia practice to grow from strength to strength.
For some years, the world-famous realist artist Antonio López García has worked from one of the Madrid office’s meeting rooms and clients are amazed to meet him.
As a global business, we have an important role to play in the fight against climate change. The decisions that we are making now will impact generations to come.
Find out more > Find out more > Find out more >

Find out more on our sustainability hub>

Listen to our ESG Matters Podcasts >

Extraordinary legacy

Past and Present: Acknowledging our legacy through four initiatives

In the lead up to Ashurst's 200th anniversary, we have been working on a way to honour our founder's legacy. William Henry Ashurst was a progressive advocate who was deeply committed to social justice, particularly women's equality and the abolition of slavery.

William's four daughters also poured their energy into the fight to abolish slavery and the fight to achieve equality for women. What William's daughters achieved in their lifetimes is remarkable and we have chosen to name four key initiatives after them, connecting our future efforts to the Ashurst family's historical work and paying a public tribute to four incredible women.

Read more about our Modern Slavery Action Plan, our four initiatives and how we plan to play a role in combatting all forms of modern slavery as a firm and together with our clients, colleagues and other stakeholders.

Find out more >

Find out more about our pro bono work >

Find out more about our social impact work >

Our Ashurst family

What is it that makes Ashurst special? The answer we keep hearing is “our people”. It is our people, both past and present, who live our values and embody our culture and together make up Ashurst.

As part of our celebrations, we would like to thank all the people who made Ashurst the firm it is today, and the people who continue to make Ashurst extraordinary.

Your stories are Ashurst’s stories.

Meet our alumni

We are proud of the achievements of our alumni, who helped build the firm. Many have gone on to create extraordinary careers as judges and barristers, as prime ministers, as attorneys general and commissioners, as business leaders and in-house counsel, and leaders in other fields.

Read more about our alumni >

Meet our people

Meet some of our people in these videos that capture the people, diversity and culture at Ashurst.

Video: Putting diversity at the heart of everything we do >

Video: Meet our new partners 2021 >

As we enter our 200th year, I am honoured to be leading the firm with Karen Davies, our Chair. With our current leadership team in place, and with Ashurst's extraordinary partners and staff around the world, the firm is well positioned to embark on our third century. PAUL JENKINS, GLOBAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Stay in touch to hear more about events and special publications or share your story about the firm with us

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