Strategic clients and people achievements key to reappointment of Ashurst Global CEO

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    Karen Davies, Chair of global law firm Ashurst, today confirmed the reappointment of Paul Jenkins as the firm’s Global CEO. Paul, who has led Ashurst since 2016, will commence a further four-year term on 1 November 2022 ending 31 October 2026.

    “On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to announce Paul’s reappointment as our global CEO for a third term,” Karen said. “Paul has done an excellent job of leading Ashurst, particularly over the past two years through the pandemic and against a backdrop of growing challenges for our clients and disruption within the legal industry itself. I am confident that he will continue to steer the business from strength to strength, as we head into the next phase of our growth."

    Karen said the Ashurst Board and partnership are proud of the achievements of the firm over the past five years (as set out below) pointing to the firm's strong growth trajectory and momentum in all of the markets in which it operates.

    "Under Paul's leadership, Ashurst has experienced 40% in revenue growth over the past five years, with an average annual growth rate of more than 7%. This significant growth has been achieved through setting a clear vision and direction for the firm and disciplined strategic planning. It has included sharpening the firm's sector focus, strengthening our capabilities in key markets and focussing on our clients and people. Inclusion, diversity and belonging has been a particular priority, as has advancing our responsible business and sustainability agenda."

    Speaking about his reappointment, Paul said, “I am delighted to be reappointed as Global CEO. 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of Ashurst, and I am particularly honoured that my reappointment coincides with this prestigious time for our firm.

    "I have great ambitions for the firm, am excited about the opportunities ahead and confident that Ashurst will continue its growth trajectory. We have a strong global platform, a collaborative and progressive culture with a clear focus on clients and our people."

    Paul said there will be a number of challenges to address as he heads into his new term.

    "Ashurst, like any other business, will be managing the lasting effects of the pandemic during 2022 and beyond. Continuing to adjust to the societal and economic impact of the pandemic will be key, including prioritising the ongoing health and well-being of our people, and encouraging new ways of working.

    "We are focused on unlocking growth for our clients, and see opportunities across our five priority sectors arising from the significant investment by our clients in sustainability, energy transition, digital transformation and new digital assets. The opportunities for growth point to a future that is very different to the past."

    Significant investments in Ashurst Advance and Ashurst Consulting have been made under Paul's tenure as global CEO. The Ashurst Advance NewLaw business has grown consistently, almost doubling in size each year, and makes a very strong contribution to the firm's business.

    Ashurst Consulting was launched in 2020 and trading is exceeding all expectations, with 60 consultants and over £10 million in revenue this financial year. Further significant growth is expected over the next 12 months.

    Ashurst remains on track for continued financial growth in FY22 building on its strong FY21 results. Announced in July 2021, the results marked the fifth consecutive year of revenue growth for the firm under Paul's leadership.

    Achievements over the past 5 years include:

    Markets and Clients

    • 40% growth in revenue over a five-year period, with an average annual growth rate of more than 7%
    • Continued to consolidate our key sector strengths and leadership in Banks & Private Capital, Infrastructure, Energy & Resources, Digital Economy and Real Estate, with more than 80% of revenue now generated from these five priority sectors
    • Achieved 30% growth in revenue in Continental Europe since FY20, 17% growth in revenue in Asia in line with our strategic plan
    • Continued transformation of the firm's operating model including investing in new office configurations in Glasgow, Beijing, Brussels, Melbourne and Canberra which has reduced our office footprint by 10% since FY19 in line with our strategic plan
    • Operating from 29 offices (opened Los Angeles in 2020, Dublin in 2021)
    • Significant uplift in organisational maturity with the introduction of new risk management frameworks and investment in new technology infrastructure

    People & Culture

    • Achieved target of 30% women in senior leadership roles, with 50% on the firm's global Executive Team, and 61% in senior business services roles (against a target of 50%)
    • Increasing percentage of females in partnership - 79% of the partner promotes for FY22 were women
    • Launched IDB Action Plan with targets for 2026
    • Created the Committed to Change (diversity) partner programme in 2017 with 150+ committed to change leaders across our global offices
    • Launched landmark global parental leave policy to strengthen support for working parents
    • Introduced flexible working options to create better experiences for our people

    Responsible business

    • Launched the firm's Modern Slavery Action Plan which sets out specific objectives to enable the firm to support and respond to this important global issue
    • Announced our 10 Sustainability Goals to build on our culture of sustainability in the firm
    • Significant pro bono investment with over 1,100 partners and staff globally contributing 56,000 pro bono hours across 670 pro bono matters, supporting 30 pro bono clinics and secondments
    • Expanded our pro bono support to the Pacific Islands to help address unmet legal needs in the region
    • Continued investment in our pro bono Law Reform Project (over 20,000+ hours over the past 4 years), which aims to address the widening gap in justice advocacy

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