Pinsent Masons has appointed a new director to head a UK-wide Public Policy Unit to be launched following the vote for the UK to leave the European Union.

The international law firm has recruited Andrew Henderson, currently head of public affairs and external relations at RBS's Williams & Glyn brand, to lead the venture. He will join Pinsent Masons as director of public policy in September.

Mr Henderson, who has also worked as a director in the public affairs unit at DLA Piper, will be responsible for transforming and expanding the firm's existing public policy practice, which was established in Edinburgh in the wake of Scottish devolution in order to help clients engage with the parliamentary process at Holyrood, and will now be extended across the UK.

Pinsent Masons has already been invited by a number of Government departments to discuss the impact of Brexit on the City and the wider commercial landscape. Earlier this year the firm appointed former Secretary of State for Transport and former International Development Minister Douglas Alexander as a strategic adviser.

Senior partner Richard Foley commented: "Our intention for some time had been to develop a more comprehensive public policy service in the UK, given the increasing centrality of regulation and hence Government and parliamentary affairs relevant to our clients. That sense has only been heightened by developments in respect of Brexit.

“One of the clearest messages we have had from clients is that understanding and engaging with the process around Brexit will be one of their number one priorities in the months and years ahead. Andrew is highly respected in his field and his unique skillset and experience will be invaluable to Pinsent Masons clients."