Another global law firm has opted to separate from its Russian offices, with Dentons withdrawing after more than three decades in the nation.
Following a wave of withdrawals from Russia from global law firms in the past week (including Norton Rose Fulbright, DLA Piper, Herbert Smith Freehills, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy), and then White & Case deciding to close its office in the nation as well, Dentons has followed suit.
The global law firm, one of the biggest in the world, will separate from its offices in Moscow and St Petersburg, which will now operate as an independent law firm.
Speaking about the exit, Dentons global chief executive Elliott Portnoy said: “This is a difficult decision which we have taken in full consultation with our colleagues in Russia in order to continue meeting our legal and ethical obligations. We have enjoyed more than 30 years of collaboration and friendship with our colleagues in Russia who bear no responsibility for this crisis nor for the circumstances that have led to this decision.
“Our hope is that at a future time we will be able to come back together when it is lawfully and practically possible to do so.”
Dentons was “one of the first” global law firms to enter the Russian market over 30 years ago, added firm global chairman Joe Andrew.
“We look forward to a day when we will be able to reunite with our esteemed colleagues with whom we have successfully served clients from all over the world,” he said.
Dentons Europe region chief executive Tomasz Dabrowski noted: “We stand with the people of Ukraine and have done everything in our power to assist our Ukrainian colleagues, their families, and other civilians displaced by the war.
“We share the news of our separation process from our offices in Moscow and St Petersburg with deep regret.
“We will support our 250+ colleagues in Russia in achieving a smooth and orderly transition in accordance with our professional obligations to our clients.”
And Dentons AB in Russia managing partner Alexei Zakharko said: “Our team will continue to operate as an independent law firm and we are committed to continue providing first class support to our clients during these difficult times and beyond.”