ASHURST, the international law firm that advised on this week’s Vue cinemas sale, is to create up to 300 jobs in Glasgow after being given a £2.4 million regional selective assistance (RSA) grant to move to the city.
The practice will initially recruit 30 “legal analysts” – law graduates who will carry out tasks normally undertaken in London by trainees, junior lawyers and paralegals – and will add a further 120 support staff by the end of the year, covering areas such as finance and IT.
Consultations are under way with 350 support staff based in London, with some roles expected to transfer to Glasgow.
Mike Polson, a former senior corporate partner at Dundas & Wilson, Scotland’s largest law firm, will lead the new office.
Polson told The Scotsman that the base in Glasgow would not just compete on cost but will also build up expertise, initially across areas such as corporate work and disputes.
He added that the office won’t be competing with Scottish law firms for work but will instead support lawyers in other Ashurst offices.
Polson, who worked in Edinburgh and London for Dundas & Wilson, said that the firm chose Scotland not just for its law graduates but also for workers’ expertise in support services such as finance and IT.
Ashurst – which has also worked on projects including London’s Shard skyscraper and supermarket chain Morrisons’ deal with online delivery firm Ocado – will initially move into temporary accommodation before taking longer-term office space in the city.
In October, legal outsourcing firm NewGalexy also received an RSA grant to create 21 jobs by opening an office in Glasgow.
Scotland’s legal sector employs about 20,000 staff and turns over £1 billion a year.