Chadbourne & Parke has announced it is in the process of closing its Kiev office and withdrawing from the market.
Contacted for comment, Jaroslawa Johnson, Chadbourne & Parke’s Managing Partner in Kiev, confirmed the news. Johnson explained that foreign investors are understandably hesitant about entering the country in the middle of its ongoing conflict with Russia and internal restructuring following last winter’s convulsive “Euromaidan” revolution, and thus, while 2013 ended up being a strong year for the office, the ongoing uncertainty and threats of violent conflict made continued operations became impractical. “We depend on foreign investors,” Johnson said, “and there won’t be any for a while.”
According to an official Chadbourne statement: “We made the determination to close the Kiev office several months ago and communicated with the team there at that time. There is no official date of closure at this time, and the office has remained open while we have unwound our business there. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian economy has struggled over a number of years, leading to a severe drop-off in outside investment. The recent turmoil and economic climate have only made the situation worse. In view of the currently difficult legal marketplace and the problematic long term outlook, it was not practicable for us to continue our operations in Kiev. We appreciate the excellent service to the firm and to our clients provided by the lawyers and staff of the Kiev office over the years. We certainly wish them all the best and hope that the current turmoil ends peacefully for everyone involved.”
The office is winding down current client matters — no new matters have been accepted for several months — and most lawyers have already moved on, including several associates to CMS Cameron McKenna, and International Partner Adam Mycyk to Dentons. Johnson herself will return to the United States when the office finally shuts down — an event Johnson predicts will happen by October 1st at the very latest.