In particular, Ashurst Advance will be performing research and development (R&D) activities and examining how lawyers can improve client service through factors like better use of technology and more efficient processes.
"What is really different about Ashurst Advance is the integrated approach to innovation in service delivery, application of new technologies and investment in R&D," remarked Mike Polson, a partner at Ashurst and one of the directors of the new team. "This combination will bring significant advantage to clients by ensuring that work of the highest quality is delivered by the right people, supported by cutting edge technologies and robust process.
"We believe that we are the first firm to create such a clear, global platform to address the three areas that are current strategic imperatives for clients."
Mark Higgs, head of strategic projects at Ashurst and another director of the new team, added: "Embedding an R&D capability is an essential development for the firm and its clients. R&D is at the core of successful businesses in many other sectors but to date in legal it has rarely been given the focus it deserves."