Russian invasion prompts CMS, Bakers and Dentons to close Kyiv offices

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By Aishah Hussain on


International law firms take decisive action

International law firms CMS, Dentons and Baker McKenzie have closed their offices in Kyiv following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We are concerned and deeply saddened by the situation emerging in Ukraine,” a spokesperson for CMS said in a statement this afternoon. “The safety and wellbeing of our people is our utmost priority and we have been doing everything over recent weeks and months to support our colleagues, including providing relocation options within the EU.”

CMS has 40 domestic and internationally qualified lawyers in Kyiv and has for some time established a team that has been working to assist colleagues affected by the ongoing conflict.

“Although our communication lines remain open, we have made the decision to close our Kyiv office until further notice,” the spokesperson continued. “Our thoughts are with our colleagues, clients and friends during this difficult time. We, like many, hope for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.”

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Dentons, like CMS, has closed its office in Kyiv until further notice and has established a taskforce to monitor the crisis.

“Our primary concern remains the safety of our people in both Ukraine and Russia,” a firm spokesperson said. “We are in regular contact with our team in Kyiv and are providing our colleagues with any assistance they need, including relocation assistance in the neighbouring countries.”

Once safely relocated, the firm anticipates its Ukrainian lawyers and staff will work remotely or from other Dentons offices to serve clients.

Baker McKenzie, meanwhile, confirmed to Legal Cheek: “In light of the military action underway in Ukraine, we have closed our office in Kyiv until the situation stabilises. We are closely monitoring developments at all times and are doing everything possible to support our people during these challenging circumstances. Their safety and wellbeing is our number one priority and our thoughts are with them and everyone affected at this extremely difficult time.”

The firm said its partners are working with clients affected to determine the options for continuing to provide legal assistance elsewhere.

It was reported in the early hours of the morning that Russia had invaded Ukraine. Russian missiles hit Ukraine capital Kyiv as well as other cities across the country.

Russia’s invasion of its neighbour has led to widespread international condemnation and massive sanctions against the country.

In a statement published today Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “We are gravely concerned by the news from Ukraine. A clear principle of international law is that a state is prohibited from the use or threat of force against another state. We hope for a swift end to hostilities and our thoughts are with all those affected.”

“We are supporting and will continue to support our members in the region,” Boyce added.

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