Ukraine war: Battle-ready Supreme Court judge urges City law firms to quit Moscow

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By Thomas Connelly on


Ivan Mishchenko swaps robes for rifle

Supreme Court judge Ivan Mishchenko (via Twitter)

One of Ukraine’s most senior judges has urged City law firms to shutter their Moscow offices immediately.

Striking images of Supreme Court judge Ivan Mishchenko went viral on Twitter this week after it emerged he had swapped his robes for a rifle and joined the civil military defence corps in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

The 40-year-old former commercial litigator has now called on law firms in London to close down their operations in Moscow and never take on Russian clients again.

“This bloody money will bring them neither joy, nor happiness,” Mishchenko told the Times (£) via email. “Lawyers are all about money but there is always something more than that. Dignity, for example.”

The married father of three says he’s aware of other judges who have joined special defence units in response to the invasion.

Mishchenko was head of litigation at a leading Ukrainian law firm before joining the country’s top bench in 2016, according to his LinkedIn. He studied international relations and affairs at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

A number of top firms with outposts in Russia have already taken action in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Both Linklaters and Norton Rose Fulbright have announced their Moscow offices will close, while Kennedys took the decision last summer to “wind down” its Moscow hub, and does not intend to renew the lease once it expires next year. Meanwhile, other City firms are reviewing or ending their Russian related work.

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