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KWMSJB brings in arbitration partner to develop Russia and CIS disputes work

Just two years after joining Winston & Strawn’s international arbitration group from the legacy Norton Rose, London-based disputes lawyer Andrei Yakovlev has upped sticks to join King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin.

With KWMSJB targeting arbitration growth in London, having last year hired the former head of Dentons’ dispute resolution practice Paul Stothard, the firm’s hire of Yakovlev is a strategic move to attract disputes originating out of Russia. It sees 4 international arbitration partners working out of the London office with Craig Pollack and Dorothy Murray working alongside Stothard and Yakovlev.

Yakovlev has been a partner for 11 years, having been made up at what was then Dewey Ballantine, which later merged into the collapsed Dewey & Leboeuf, before a five-year stint at Norton Rose and then at Winston & Strawn.

His practice is built around a rich client base in the CIS and the Middle East. He recently represented the Kyrgyz Republic in a trio of UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings worth more than $500m arising out of nationalization of the nation’s largest bank, AsiaUniversalBank, and was one of the defendant’s lawyers in a $2bn claim at the London Court of International Arbitration brought by Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk against Igor Valeriyovych and Gennady Bogolyubov.

An arbitration lawyer by trade, he has unusually also advised on the transactional side of numerous capital markets transactions, private and public M&As, sovereign financings and sovereign debt restructurings. He has also represented the likes of Credit Suisse, UBS and JP Morgan for issuance of notes.

Craig Pollack, head of KWM’s dispute resolution practice, said: ‘Andrei is a fantastic addition to our global international arbitration group which already boasts over 35 partners worldwide who have a primary focus on international arbitration work. We are delighted that he has decided to join us and to help drive and develop our established reputation and practice for international arbitration work involving Russian and CIS parties.”