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Norton Rose Fulbright Leaves Russia Over Ukraine Invasion

 |  March 7, 2022

International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright is ending its operations in Russia, becoming the largest such firm so far to exit the country since Russian forces invaded Ukraine and triggered waves of international sanctions.

The firm, which counts over 4,000 lawyers among its ranks and handles high-profile and cross-border cases in several practice areas, including antitrust and competition law, said in a statement early Monday that it is closing its Moscow office “as quickly as we can, in compliance with our professional obligations,” calling the wellbeing of its staff in the region a “priority.”

Norton Rose says it is reviewing terminating its relationship with clients connected to the current Russian regime. The firm said that when lawyers can’t end relationships with those Russian clients, it will donate profits from that work to “appropriate humanitarian and charitable causes.”

About 20 international law firms have offices in Russia. Norton Rose has over 50 lawyers and other employees in Moscow, according to Reuters. The global firm has worked for several entities sanctioned over the Russian invasion, including Sberbank, Gazprom, and VTB Capital. It also lists Russian oil giant Rosneft as a client.

The Russian invasion of neighbor Ukraine has drawn condemnation from much of the global community, drawing sanctions, cancellations and removal from international bodies. The International Competition Network (ICN) responded to a call from Baltic competition authorities and other members of the Antitrust community by suspending Russian antitrust regulator FAS from the organization.

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