A gold-en choice for silver circle firm: Ashurst appoints TV expert to its board

Oliver Gill
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Aside from UKTV, Jan Gooze-Zijl's CV includes stints at Virgin Media, Telefonica O2 Europe, Accenture, Telewest Communications and Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine.

A City law firm has taken the unusual step of hiring its new chief operating officer from a TV company.

Jan Gooze-Zijl, who currently serves on the board of UKTV – the owner of channels Dave and Gold – is to swap re-runs of Top Gear, Only Fools and Horses and Wheeler Dealers, for an executive role at legal firm Ashurst.

He will also take on the role of finance chief at the silver circle law firm.

Read more: Hunt is on for Ashurst's next managing partner

"Joining Ashurst at a time of continued transformation within the legal industry is a great opportunity and challenge. I look forward to working with the board, executive team and the partners to capitalise on Ashurst's significant growth potential," he said.

Although straying from the norm, this isn't the first appointment on a non-lawyer to the executive board of a law firm.

Read more: Law firm Ashurst launches R&D venture

Earlier this year, the former owner of Brands Hatch, Nicola Foulston, took over as chief executive of fellow City lawyers Rosenblatt.

Ashurst's managing partner Paul Jenkins said Gooze-Zijl had "an exceptional track record of achievement" and stressed his change management credentials. He added: "His leadership skills and experience of driving top and bottom line growth will play a critical role in delivering high performance and operational excellence in the firm."