Ashurst has today (8 November) formally launched a new flexible resourcing platform – Ashurst Advance Reach – working in collaboration with law companies Cognia Law and Elevate.

In something of a mirror of the arrangements put in place over the past year to eighteen months at Hogan Lovells, the move sees Ashurst piece together the integrated client service ranging from top end legal advice to alternative managed legal services. It builds on the existing capability of Ashurst Advance; the firm's own Glasgow-headquartered alternative legal services function.

While Ashurst announced in the summer that it is working with Cognia Law, the collaboration with Elevate is entirely new. The partnership with Cognia will include access to its managed flexible resourcing platform and pool of legal practitioners in the UK and Europe.

The Ashurst Advance Reach platform will enable the firm to source contract lawyers who can be engaged to supplement Ashurst's practice areas as well as allowing clients to access technical expertise for secondments. The service will be offered initially in the UK and Australia and, over time, will be developed into a platform for the firm's global network of offices.

Ashurst Advance Reach will be led by Alexa Crawford as senior operations manager and will form part of the alternative resourcing arm of Ashurst Advance, led by  head of alternative resourcing Iain Brown. Brown said: “By giving our practice groups access to high-quality lawyers on a flexible basis we can source required skills on demand and maintain a productive, lean business model without sacrificing our ability to respond to spikes in demand from our clients, at the same time as maintaining the wellbeing of our lawyers when workload increases.

“We see collaborations between law firms and innovative legal service providers like Cognia Law and Elevate as strategically important in creating value for our clients across a broader spectrum of their legal needs and we believe such collaborations will increasingly define the future of the legal market.”

Janet Taylor-Hall, CEO of Cognia Law, commented: “The ability to provide innovative, flexible approaches to staffing is a crucial component in supporting clients as they shape and build the workforce of the future. It has been a pleasure to leverage our next generation managed flex resourcing model to support the development of the Ashurst Advance Reach platform.”

Law firms are increasingly going to expect integrated resourcing models like this and speaking yesterday (7 November) at SOLID Summit on Legal Innovation and Disruption, Legal IT Insider editor Caroline Hill told the largely corporate counsel delegates: “Now, rather than you having to piece together a solution from multiple offerings, there is growing strategic integration between providers working together with in-house teams and these diagrams from Cognia Law shows the kind of strategic integration you can and should expect.” See those diagrams below.