Chadbourne boosts London with EBRD hire

The London office of US firm Chadbourne & Parke has galvanised its Russian offering, netting the senior counsel of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Jennifer Handz joins as a finance partner in London, working as part of the New York-headquartered firm’s 60-lawyer Russia and CIS practice.

At the EBRD, where she has been for seven years, Handz specialised in debt and equity financing specifically in Russia and the CIS.

Chadbourne has been pushing its regional offering in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe after it added three lawyers in St Petersburg last November and opened in Almaty following a string of hires from Coudert Brothers.

It now has seven offices in the region and has managed to lure Gazprom and Rosneft, the Russian state-owned gas and oil companies, as clients.

Handz’s hire follows that of Paul Tumminia earlier in the year, who was the director for Russia, CIS and Turkey at the US Export-Import Bank. Senior associate Charez Golvala also moved across from Vinson & Elkins as an energy partner in July.

Chadbourne also bolstered its CEE and Russian ranks during its latest round of partnership promotions. Konstantin Konstantinov, who works out of the Moscow and St Petersburg offices, and Igor Muszynski in Warsaw were made-up.

However, the growth is in contrast to the firm’s US operations. In February managing partner Charles O’Neill announced that underperformers at the 440-lawyer firm would be shown the door, following a 5 per cent drop in revenue during 2005 to $229m (£128.9m) (www.thelawyer.com 6 February).

At the time, O’Neill said that London and Europe would be spared cuts: “London and Europe is where we see the real future for growth.”