BLP opens new Russian office with over 70 lawyers in Moscow

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) today (19 January 2009) announced that it has joined forces with leading Russian corporate lawyer Andrey Goltsblat and a number of his partners and colleagues to form an office in Moscow called Goltsblat BLP, offering a Russian international legal service.  Andrey Goltsblat was formerly a managing partner of Pepeliaev, Goltsblat & Partners, the biggest full-service law firm operating in Russia, and this is the first time a major overseas law firm has come together with a leading Russian legal team.

The move is a major step forward for BLP’s international strategy, which includes both a panel of over 100 preferred firms – leading independent firms with whom the firm has strong, non-exclusive relationships – and a strategy in emerging markets that includes the recent announcement of plans to open a Middle East regional office in Abu Dhabi. This dual approach provides clients with access to the best legal advice around the world in a flexible way that reflects both the circumstances in each individual market and the specific legal requirements for each transaction.

Goltsblat BLP opened today with nine partners and over 60 associates.  Andrey Goltsblat heads the new office and other partners joining him include Anton Sitnikov (corporate), Vitaly Mozharowski (real estate), Maxim Kulkov (litigation), Elena Barinova (real estate finance), Anna-Stefaniya Chepik (corporate/employment), Anton Rogoza (corporate /M&A), Vladimir Tchikine (customs & foreign exchange) and Ekaterina Tilling (intellectual property). 

In addition to corporate, M&A, real estate and litigation, the new office will advise clients on energy and natural resources, employment law, intellectual property, customs and excise and trade law.  English lawyers joining the office in the future will support finance, corporate finance, real estate and infrastructure, and will work closely with lawyers in BLP’s London office. This will offer clients a “one stop shop”, where traditionally they may have had to use two different firms.

Through merging these leading Russian and English law capabilities, the office creates a completely new capability and provides a genuinely integrated service to Russian and international clients investing in the Russian market, as well as to Russian clients investing globally.

Neville Eisenberg, BLP’s managing partner, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to create something unique. We are particularly pleased to have attracted a team of the quality of the one that is led by Andrey Goltsblat and the other partners who have joined us.”

Andrey Goltsblat said: “I strongly believe that the merger with BLP provides us with unique opportunities to offer clients a full range of high quality services in different jurisdictions. Our enhanced capability will enable us to support Russian clients, not only in Russia but also as they invest globally, and help foreign investors enter the Russian market with more confidence.”

Neville Eisenberg added: “We continue to be fully committed to our strategy of delivering high quality international legal services through our panel of preferred law firms in over 65 countries.  This approach is popular with clients and we believe in most countries it delivers the best combination of flexibility and quality for our clients.  Our plans for Abu Dhabi and Moscow are part of a complementary strategy to grow the firm’s exposure to emerging markets.”

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