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Dentons appoints Clifford Chance Russia, CIS oil and gas head Louis Skyner

Dentons has taken on Clifford Chance’s (CC) Russia and CIS oil and gas head Louis Skyner as partner, the second practice leader to be poached from the Magic Circle firm this month.

Skyner’s clients include as Lukoil, Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Shell, and Mubadala Petroleum.

English qualified, Skyner advises energy clients across a broad range of legal issues, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project development, structuring and financing.

Skyner joined CC in 2013 from multinational oil and gas company Statoil, where he was a leading legal counsel for upstream projects with its Russian partners. These included the development of the Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea, various offshore and onshore oil exploration projects with Rosneft, and the West Qurna II oil field development in Iraq. He has also served as senior legal counsel at Petroleum Geo-Services and for the Russian government.

Dentons Russia managing partner Florian Schneider said: ‘Louis brings more than a decade of experience in Russia and CIS and an extensive client portfolio, including many of the top energy companies in the region.  We are delighted to welcome him onboard.’

Dentons built on its Eastern European presences in March, picking up DLA Piper’s office in Tbilisi. The firm took on a team of 11 lawyers, including partners Otar Kipshidze and Avto Svanidze who joined the firm at the beginning of this month. The team specialises in litigation, corporate, banking and finance, intellectual property, energy, infrastructure and government work.

Earlier this month, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan picked up CC tax investigations and disputes head Liesl Fichardt, who specialises in advising clients on complex tax investigations and enquiries.

Before joining CC in 2013, Fichardt headed up Berwin Leighton Paisner’s tax disputes practice and was previously a partner at US firm Dorsey & Whitney.

Read more: ‘The pitch – A new kind of global law firm emerges but can Dentons live up to the hype?