28 Feb 2022

London-based partner duo at leading Russian firm announce resignations and office closure

Ex-Clifford Chance and Jones Day lawyers say they are no longer working for Ivanyan and Partners' clients

Protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Trafalgar Square. A large group of protestors holding banners and Ukrainian flags. London - 27th February 2022

Protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Trafalgar Square on 27 February

Two London-based partners at Russian firm Ivanyan and Partners have announced their resignations in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Arbitration specialists James Dingley and Baiju Vasani revealed their decisions to leave the firm in LinkedIn posts in which they say they are no longer conducting work for the firm's clients.

Dingley, who joined the firm from Clifford Chance in October 2020 to help establish the London office, said in a post published earlier today that the decision had also been made with his Russian colleagues to close the office ‘following the shocking developments in Ukraine last week’.

He added that he ‘will be leaving the firm once all office-related administration has been properly concluded’.

In his post Vasani, who joined the firm in November 2019 from Jones Day, wrote: 'Like all of us who care about justice, including the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens, I pray that peace will prevail. To my many friends in Ukraine, I stand with each of you. I will be reaching out to you individually to see what I can do to help.’

The pair, alongside Moscow-based co-head of international arbitration Andrey Gorlenko, had been charged with opening Ivanyan and Partners’ first international office.

The office is registered as a UK LLP and operated its own website under the Ivanyan and Partners banner. While the website was not functioning today, the office was still taking calls.

Ivanyan and Partners LLP pitched itself as a 'London-based, conflict-free boutique law firm specialising in complex international disputes'. The team offered to combine 'Russian roots' and 'English law capabilities' affording clients 'a unique global reach and a perspective that gives rise to innovative and effective legal solutions'.

In their posts, both Dingley and Vasani praised their colleagues at Ivanyan and Partners. 'I thank the truly exceptional lawyers of the firm for their friendship and collegiality over these last two and a half years,' said Vasani. 'It has been a real honour and I cannot speak highly enough of their deep professionalism and legal excellence.'

Ivanyan and Partners has offices in Moscow and St Petersburg and employs around 100 lawyers. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Meanwhile, Sidley Austin and Venable are among international firms that have confirmed that they have ceased advising Russian clients caught up in sanctions. Venable confirmed to Bloomberg Law it had withdrawn from its role lobbying the US government for Sberbank while Sidley Austin has ceased advising VTB Group.

Baker McKenzie told Law.com it was reviewing its Russian-related client work which would mean ’in some cases exiting relationships completely’.

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