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‘A natural fit’: Reed Smith takes Chadbourne Moscow managing partner Baev ahead of NRF merger

Following its recent agreement to combine with Norton Rose Fulbright to create a $2bn firm, Chadbourne & Parke has lost the head of its Moscow office, Andrei Baev, to Reed Smith.

Leaving after only two years at Chadbourne, energy and infrastructure finance partner Baev will join Reed Smith’s London office but will split his time between London, Astana and Moscow. He leaves behind a three-partner team at Chadbourne in Moscow, with only one partner, Konstantin Konstantinov, focusing solely on Russia. Norton Rose currently has seven partners in Moscow.

Despite many firms with a focus on capital markets scaling back in Russia in recent years as US-led economic sanctions have heavily affected the market, Chadbourne hired Baev as Moscow managing partner from Goltsblat Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) in 2015 to boost its presence in Russia.

Formerly equity partner in BLP’s Moscow office since 2011, Baev was previously a partner at Allen & Overy for 10 years. Most recently, he resided in both of Chadbourne’s London and Moscow offices.

Baev (pictured) said: ‘This presents an opportunity for me to deepen my existing client relationships with major Russian oil & gas companies and further diversify my practice.

A specialist in project finance, Baev has more than 25 years’ experience advising across oil and gas, power, mining, telecoms and infrastructure, with a focus on Russia, Eastern and central Europe, central Asia and the Middle East.

Baev added: ‘While at Chadbourne, I worked with Reed Smith on the same client side of the negotiation table on one of the major power projects in Kazakhstan. Reed Smith has a brilliant practice in Astana and I am excited to become part of this prominent group of lawyers.’

Last year, Clifford Chance also tapped Chadbourne in New York for restructuring lawyer Douglas Deutsch, while a three-partner arbitration team from Chadbourne joined Cooley last December.

Reed Smith’s latest global revenues fell for the second consecutive year in 2016, by 4% to $1.08bn from $1.12bn, which the firm said was the result of managing down headcount by 81 lawyers over the year.