Clifford Chance launches in Kiev

Clifford Chance launches in Kiev” />Clifford Chance has become the latest firm to move in on the booming Ukrainian economy with an office launch imminent in the country’s capital Kiev.

The office, which is due to open in the summer, will be run by Nick Fletcher, currently managing partner of the firm’s Warsaw office. He will be joined by Warsaw counsel Tomasz Stasiak as well as four Ukrainian real estate associates who are currently based in Warsaw. The intention is to complement the team with around 20 local lawyers on opening.

Central and Eastern Europe managing partner Michael Cuthbert said: “Our new office in Kiev will enable us to handle the increasingly large volumes of work in the region, strengthen existing regional client relationships, and extend our ability to serve global clients as they expand into growth markets.”

Initially the office will focus on servicing international clients, but the intention is to grow the capability to provide a full-service for local clients.

As the launch is still a number of months off Fletcher will continue in his role as Warsaw managing partner in the meantime but, as he will relocate to Kiev, a replacement may be found in due course. There is no immediate plan to replace the other lawyers relocating from the 10-partner Warsaw base.

The office will be Clifford Chance’s sixth in the Eastern European region. Having first opened in Moscow in 1991, the firm now has a presence in Warsaw, Prague, Budapest and Bucharest.

Kiev’s importance as a legal service centre is growing and earlier in the week (6 March) www.thelawyer.com reported that CMS Derks Star Busmann has opened a Dutch desk in Kiev to work with its CMS partner firms there.