Ex-Simmons Russia chief to join Renova as legal deputy

BP’s Russian joint venture partner Renova Group has made a high-profile addition to its in-house team with the hire of ex-Simmons & Simmons Moscow chief Konstantin Orlov as its legal number two.

Orlov, a former general counsel of Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital (RenCap), is set to join the Moscow-based conglomerate in a role equivalent to deputy general counsel, reporting to chief legal officer Igor Cheremikin. He will replace current post holder Dmitry Lavrentiev, who has already left the business.

The Renova private business group comprises asset management companies and investment funds with a portfolio covering sectors including energy and resources, construction, telecommunications and finance.

The conglomerate, owned by billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, is part of a three-way venture, Alfa-Access-Renova, including Alfa Group and Access Industries, that together owns 50 per cent of Russian oil producer TNK-BP. BP owns the remaining half in a strained joint venture that has been the subject of ongoing disputes (12 May 2011).

Orlov joined Simmons as part of its Moscow launch in 2007 from RenCap as a partner and head of the Russian practice (13 September 2007). It is understood that he has been undertaking his own private projects since the City firm shut down in the city in 2009.

As head of RenCap’s legal team between 2004 and 2007, he instructed a roster of around five outside firms including Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

The imminent move follows the Russian Direct Investment Fund’s recent hire of Konstantin Olefir as its general counsel from Deutsche Bank, where he had been head of the legal department for Russia and a board member since 2006. His previous homes were aluminium company Rusal and US firms Skadden and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Renova did not respond to a request for comment.