Eversheds and Clifford Chance Moscow teams launch independent firms following Russia exodus

Eversheds and Clifford Chance Moscow teams launch independent firms following Russia exodus

Following on from the spate of Moscow office closures in March as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, international firms have started to set out their future plans for practices and teams.

Clifford Chance outlined plans for its Moscow team, having announced that it would begin an ‘orderly wind down’ of its business in Russia in March. Continue reading “Eversheds and Clifford Chance Moscow teams launch independent firms following Russia exodus”

Dentons, DLA and Bakers to sever ties with Russia offices as A&O and CC wind down

Dentons, DLA and Bakers to sever ties with Russia offices as A&O and CC wind down

Baker McKenzie, DLA Piper and Dentons have taken a different course to most international law firms, separating from their Russia practices and leaving independent firms behind, rather than closing the offices entirely as a response to Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

All three firms operate under a Swiss verein structure, which enables the different offices to maintain financial and regulatory independence from one another and allows for quick mergers and demergers. Continue reading “Dentons, DLA and Bakers to sever ties with Russia offices as A&O and CC wind down”

Akin Gump, Freshfields and Latham latest to withdraw in Moscow as mass exodus ensues

Akin Gump, Freshfields and Latham latest to withdraw in Moscow as mass exodus ensues

Akin Gump, Latham & Watkins and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are among the latest international firms to shut down or suspend operations in Moscow, as pressure to take action has mounted in light of Russia’s sustained invasion of Ukraine.

The news came after Linklaters and Norton Rose Fulbright announced their intentions to withdraw from Moscow in recent days. Continue reading “Akin Gump, Freshfields and Latham latest to withdraw in Moscow as mass exodus ensues”

Linklaters renounces Moscow office as Russia attacks Ukraine and peers react to invasion

Linklaters renounces Moscow office as Russia attacks Ukraine and peers react to invasion

Linklaters’ abandonment of its Moscow office in response to Russia’s sustained invasion of Ukraine has prompted peers to react, with many more likely set to follow suit.

Linklaters announced the move to shutter the Moscow office, which houses more than 70 lawyers, including 10 partners, on Friday (4 March). The firm said in a statement: ‘We will wind down our operations in Russia and close our Moscow office. We will continue supporting our people there in the process, doing all we can to help them transfer to new roles within Linklaters or otherwise.’ Continue reading “Linklaters renounces Moscow office as Russia attacks Ukraine and peers react to invasion”

Akin rainmakers quit to launch Russia independent in further apocalyptic sign for Western firms

Akin rainmakers quit to launch Russia independent in further apocalyptic sign for Western firms

Lawyers have been speaking for months of a tough environment for international firms in sanction-battered Russia, but no event has been as emblematic as the news in September that two of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s top Moscow partners have quit to launch an independent firm.

Heavyweight litigator Ilya Rybalkin and corporate veteran Suren Gortsunyan launched Rybalkin, Gortsunyan & Partners (RGP), bringing across 11 other fee-earners from their former shop – now left with just 18 lawyers in Moscow.
While the US sanction regime bars US firms from supporting Kremlin-linked oligarchs, speaking to Legal Business Gortsunyan said Russian companies were becoming increasingly less comfortable with instructing Western advisers. Continue reading “Akin rainmakers quit to launch Russia independent in further apocalyptic sign for Western firms”

Ominous signs for western firms in Russia as Akin Gump team quits to launch local independent

Ominous signs for western firms in Russia as Akin Gump team quits to launch local independent

The latest sign that life in Russia is getting tough for international firms came today (5 September) as two of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s key Moscow partners quit to launch an independent firm.

Heavyweight litigator Ilya Rybalkin and corporate veteran Suren Gortsunyan have launched Rybalkin, Gortsunyan & Partners (RGP) alongside 11 associates, counsel and paralegals from the US firm – a team which claims to have been involved in transactions cumulatively worth over $80bn. Continue reading “Ominous signs for western firms in Russia as Akin Gump team quits to launch local independent”

Rousing the bear – Russian counsel force to hunt in new places

Rousing the bear – Russian counsel force to hunt in new places

Russia’s propensity for volatility is infamous. Since its revolution 100 years ago, it has lived through events that the Soviet Union’s founders would never have imagined. Today, amid heightened geopolitical tensions, it continues to face huge uncertainty. But its law firms are adamant that it will continue to provide solid revenues.

‘Reports of Russia’s decline are much exaggerated and most of the issues with the West are not business-driven,’ argues Dimitry Afanasiev, chair and co-founder of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners (EPAP). ‘When oil prices head north of $60 and the cycle in hard assets turns, we will remain strategically-placed to capitalise on the opportunities.’ Continue reading “Rousing the bear – Russian counsel force to hunt in new places”

The Russia report: A new thaw?

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If the mood of a city can be gauged by the bustle of its shops and restaurants, then law firms active in Russia and much of the wider CIS region should not be especially fearful. Björn Paulsen, co-head of German firm Noerr’s Moscow office, says despite the recent devaluation of the rouble coming amid prolonged economic turbulence, few tables are empty in the Russian capital’s top eateries. ‘The crisis has already reached the bottom and now the market is on the rise again,’ he says.

While there have been numerous false dawns born of blind optimism over a Russian recovery in recent years, the consensus now is that economic and political woes have bottomed out, and lawyers, while talking as good a game as ever, have reason to be upbeat. Money is trickling into the region as foreign investors, particularly those from Asia, try to take advantage of cheaper assets. Government initiatives to create a more investor-friendly environment are welcomed by the region’s elite legal advisers. Continue reading “The Russia report: A new thaw?”