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‘Committed to the Russian market’: Chadbourne & Parke hires BLP energy partner to manage Moscow office

After shutting down its Kiev operations last summer, Chadbourne & Parke has boosted its presence in Russia with the hire of energy partner Andrei Baev from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) as Moscow managing partner.

Previously a partner at Allen & Overy (A&O) for over ten years before joining Goltsblat BLP in 2011 as a senior equity partner, Baev will now reside both in Chadbourne’s London and Moscow offices. A specialist in project finance, he advises across oil and gas, power, mining, telecoms and infrastructure, with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe. Past clients include Gazprom, IFC, Lukoil, RusHydro and TNK-BP.

It follows Chadbourne’s decision to close its office in Kiev, affecting ten fee-earners and three partners, due to ongoing political unrest that caused a problematic outlook for the firm’s long-term business in the region.

Contrary to Chadbourne’s decision to scale up in Moscow, many firms, especially those with a capital markets focus, have reduced their offerings in Russia as US-led economic sanctions have heavily affected the debt financing capabilities of some of Russia’s largest banks. Firms known to be affected by the sanctions includes A&O, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, White & Case and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

On Baev’s hire, Chadbourne managing partner Andy Giaccia said: ‘We have grown strategically by focusing on our firm’s strengths in the energy sector and in emerging markets, and we are committed to the Russian market, notwithstanding some of the recent economic challenges, and continue to see great opportunities there.

Ayşe Yüksel, Chadbourne’s EMEA liaison partner, added: ‘Andrei is a talented business developer who has grown strong relationships with senior management at some of the largest Russian companies, and his work and experience maps well with our geographic footprint as well as our practice strengths in energy and international projects. Not only will Andrei help grow our Russian practice, but he will also drive growth across the entire EMEA region.’

Also in hiring mode in Moscow is Freshfields which today (7 April) announced the hire of disputes duo Alexey Yadykin and Fedor Belykh who join as senior associates from Debevoise & Plimpton and A&O respectively.