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Freshfields, Latham & Watkins Among Latest Firms Leaving Russia

 |  March 9, 2022

At least five major international law firms, Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Latham & Watkins, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Squire Patton Boggs, said Wednesday they are closing their offices in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

The firms each have offices in Moscow, while Eversheds Sutherland also has an office in St. Petersburg, reported Reuters.

In separate statements, the firms expressed support for their Russian lawyers and staffers but said they could no longer maintain a presence in the country because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. They committed to transferring or ending their work there while complying with their professional obligations.

Related: Norton Rose Fulbright Leaves Russia Over Ukraine Invasion

Latham did not say whether it has dropped clients due to the invasion or ensuing international sanctions. The US-founded firm is representing Russia’s VTB Bank in a New York federal lawsuit brought by the family of a US citizen killed when a Malaysian airliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

The lawsuit accuses VTB and others of supporting rebels who allegedly downed the plane; VTB has called the claims against it “pure speculation.”

Western nations have placed unprecedented sanctions on Russia’s economy as a response to its invation of neighbor Ukraine, including isolating the country’s banking system from the SWIFT network and placing sanctions on assets owned by Russia’s central bank.

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