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German legal practice Haarmann Hemmelrath & Partner has opened a Moscow office as part of a global expansion drive.
Gerd Lenga, previously the partner in charge of German rival Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Laber's Moscow office, has been appointed to head the new Russian practice.
Ulrich Schrader has moved from Haarmanns' Berlin and Bucharest offices to be joint head of the Moscow office. The pair will lead a team of seven lawyers.
The firm is still looking for tax lawyers and accountants to help expand the office, which will focus on company law, M&A, capital markets, finance consultancy and tax law.
Alexander Hemmelrath, Haarmanns' joint managing partner, says: "The more stable political climate in Russia following the unexpected change of leadership at the turn of the year means there is every reason to expect economic development to accelerate.
"As a result, there is a strong demand for advice on international legal issues."
A spokesman for Haarmanns says: "The decision to open in Moscow represents an important step forward within the firm's central and eastern European strategy.
"The move sees a continuation of the international strategy that aims to establish a presence in the major economic centres of Europe and expand without merger."
Haarmanns opened offices in London and Belgium earlier this year. It also has foreign offices in Tokyo, Prague, Paris, Milan, Bucharest, Warsaw, Shanghai, Singapore and Budapest.