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Russian firm Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is planning an aggressive expansion strategy that will incorporate the first hires of English-qualified lawyers by a domestic Russian firm.
Chairman Dimitry Afanasiev told The Lawyer that his firm, with an average profit per equity partner figure estimated to be in excess of £5m, was on the hunt for a team of “10-15” English-qualified solicitors from an international firm. The team will be based in both London and Moscow.
Afanasiev said the team would be likely to include two or three partners. The move would be a first for Russia, where it is common for international firms to employ local lawyers, but so far unheard of for foreigners to join the partnership of a domestic firm.
According to Afanasiev the plan is part of a programme to institutionalise Egorov and grow its notoriously tight partnership. Egorov is Russia’s largest law firm by turnover and employs almost 190 lawyers, although its partnership numbers just 13.
He said the firm wanted to bring on board lawyers who would be able to advise on English law for mid-sized transactions and to act on behalf of Russian clients on larger matters outside the country.
Afanasiev denied that the move was an attempt to compete with international firms.
“I want to have our own English lawyers who’ll understand intimately our clients and will be able to run deals and cases for them while outsourcing and shadowing these deals and cases with larger law firms,” he explained.
He added that Egorov wanted to ensure the firm’s future succession.
“The idea is to grow enough practice leaders from inside the firm,” he said, “but we see now that it’s not always possible.”