Freshfields' Australia country partner jumps to Ashurst

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s country partner for Australia is to leave the firm and move to Ashurst.

James Wood, who was also previously Freshfields’ Tokyo managing partner, will join Ashurst’s corporate division in London.

Wood advises clients on complex cross-border deals and currently also heads up Freshfields’ mining and metals sector. He is based in London and has previously advised gas company BG Group, Morgan Stanley and Japanese waste and recycling company Asahi Holdings.

He became a partner at Freshfields in 2001 and worked in Tokyo between 2007 and 2011.

Ashurst global head of corporate Simon Beddow said Wood was a “high-calibre senior partner” who would “play a key role in further developing our practice”.

He added: “The breadth of his international experience, including his background working in Asia-Pacific and his sector expertise, has powerful synergies with the firm’s objectives and clients. James will further enhance the scale and depth of our offering.”

Wood added that he was “looking forward to adding to the established bench of outstanding talent at the firm”.

His appointment follows another significant hire for Ashurst. The firm hired Reed Smith’s Europe, Middle East and Asia pro bono and CSR head Sarah Morton-Ramwell to lead its global pro bono practice in April.