INTERNATIONAL law firm Ashurst is expanding the scope of its Glasgow legal and business support services centre by bringing on a team of qualified lawyers who will work on a freelance basis.

Since launching in 2013 the base, which provides support to lawyers across Ashurst’s network of 24 offices, has employed only a handful of trained lawyers, with the bulk of the work being carried out by legal analysts, who have law degrees but not practising certificates.

Mike Polson, who heads the firm’s Glasgow office, said Ashurst is creating the freelance bank in order to enhance the service the legal analysts can offer.

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“There’s a big pipeline of work and opportunities and we want to grow the team here,” he said.

“There will be an element of growing what we’ve got but we want to leverage that more by adding a slightly different skill mix.”

Mr Polson said he expects qualified lawyers to make up between 10 and 20 per cent of the 50-strong legal-analyst team.

While the qualified lawyers currently working in the Glasgow office specialise in banking and finance, Mr Polson said the analysts work across practice areas, adding that he expects this to be replicated in the freelance team.

“We’re saying ‘here’s an opportunity to throw away the old model a bit and look at this completely flexibly’,” he said. “I imagine that people who are attracted to that won’t want to work in a pigeon-holed area but would want to apply their skills in a range of areas.”