Move follows global outfit’s exit in response to Ukraine invasion
Eversheds Sutherland has “completed the transition of its operations in Russia” with all lawyers and support staff transferring to a newly-created law firm.
The move comes just weeks after the global outfit announced it was shuttering its operations in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. It had around 50 lawyers and support staff across two offices in Moscow and St Petersburg.
In a statement yesterday, Eversheds said the new outfit, Birch Legal, will become its “preferred relationship firm in Russia, servicing the needs of its international clients”.
“We wish the circumstances leading to the creation of Birch Legal were different, nonetheless we wish our friends and former colleagues in Russia well for their new endeavour,” the firm added.
Birch Legal will be headed up by corporate partner Mikhail Timonov who will be supported by fellow partner Yury Pugach.
A host of firms have now taken action in response to the crisis, with Baker McKenzie and Dentons both announcing last month that their Moscow and St Petersburg offices would become independent outfits.
Other big legal players — including the entire magic circle — have closed down their operations in Russia while pledging financial and pro bono support.
Update: 16:30pm on 27 April
Eversheds issued the following follow-up statement:
“In order to clarify an apparent misunderstanding around the firm’s previous statement of 25 April 2022, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP confirms that it has ceased operating in Russia.
Our international clients with legal needs in Russia will be able to instruct Birch Legal, the new firm launched by our former Russian partners, should they wish to do so. Birch Legal joins our group of 200+ relationship firms around the world which provide support to our clients which have legal needs in jurisdictions where we do not have offices.
For clarity, Birch Legal is not part of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and nor do we have any financial interest in Birch Legal. Should clients choose to instruct any of our relationship firms, including Birch Legal, we do not benefit financially.”
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