K&L Gates has confirmed that it closed its Moscow office in December, 2015, leaving Warsaw the firm's only remaining office in CEE. The Pittsburgh law firm opened in Moscow in 2010.
Although the economic downturn in Russia and significant affect of sanctions imposed by the West on the country following its 2014 annexation of Crimea have led most US and UK-based international firms in Moscow to downsize, K&L Gates is the first since those developments to shut its doors completely.
In response to our request for information about the firm’s decision to close its office in Moscow, a K&L Gates spokesman sent the following message, reprinted here in full: "Following a lengthy evaluation of economic and geopolitical conditions and projected client needs and related business conditions in the region, K&L Gates LLP has closed its four-lawyer Moscow office, effective early December 2015. One lawyer from the office has relocated to another office within K&L Gates’ extensive global platform; specifically, corporate/M&A partner William Reichert has moved to the firm’s Dubai office to augment the firm’s Middle East practice."
While Reichert moved to sunnier climes, his colleague Georgy Borisov stayed in Moscow, moving 4 km into the city center to Squire Patton Boggs, where he joined the Cleveland firm as a Partner in its Global Corporate Practice.
Borisov specializes in corporate and M&A, particularly in the energy and natural resources sector. He focuses on complex transactional work, and advises Russian and international companies in the oil and gas industry, as well as in coal and agrichemicals production and related sectors. He also advises on commercial real estate matters and on the business of trade shows, and acted in the first ever sale of a Russian trade show to multiple buyers. According to Squire Patton Boggs, “among his representative energy and natural resources work highlights are: advising a Russian mineral fertilizer producer on the USD 400 million acquisition of a gas condensate field; acting for a Russian gas producer in its USD 8 billion acquisition of production and LNG assets in the Sakhalin area; and advising a European energy company on a USD 200 million acquisition of oil and gas assets in the Volga region."
Borisov began his professional career as in-house counsel with the White Nights oil company in Russia, and subsequently served in private practice in the corporate departments of Lovells, Baker Botts, and Latham & Watkins, from which he moved to K&L Gates in October 2010. He is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations School of Law, and holds an LL.M. from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
"We're delighted to have Georgy Borisov join us,” said Sergey Treshchev, Office Managing Partner of Squire Patton Boggs in Moscow. “Energy and resources make up a key industry sector in the Russian economy and it is one where we have long-standing relationships and outstanding credentials. Georgy’s reputation is also well established in this arena and his arrival will be a significant asset for clients.”
“Georgy’s expertise and versatility make him a great fit with our team,” commented Patrick Brooks, who leads the Corporate Practice in Moscow. “His sector knowledge is reinforced by strong commercial acumen which informs all his cross-border deals, whether in energy or real estate. He joins a strong and dynamic corporate team here in Moscow, part of a global practice that works alongside our Energy & Natural Resources group, both of which continue to see significant expansion and investment.”