King & Spalding launches Russian disputes practice with Noerr hire

King & Spalding has launched a Russian disputes practice with the hire of Noerr disputes partner Ilia Rachkov.

Rachkov specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration and is perhaps best known for his recent role acting as a Russian law expert for Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky as part of the Berezovsky v Abramovich dispute that has been played out in London’s High Court (31 August 2012). Rachkov, alongside Chadbourne & Parke senior partner Mikhail Rozenberg, who was appointed as the Russian law expert for Abramovich for the trial, was required to submit expert reports to the court as well as giving evidence over three days of cross-examination, from 30 November to 2 December 2011 (21 May 2012).

Rachkov joined King & Spalding’s Moscow office on 1 February, bringing the total number of partners in the office to six.

The firm launched in the Russian capital in 2011 following the hire of three Hogan Lovells partners, including the firm’s deputy Moscow head and corporate and litigation expert Sergei Komolov (10 May 2011).

Commenting on Rachkov’s appointment, Komolov, who now manages King & Spalding’s Moscow office, said: “Ilia is a lawyer of the highest standing and his disputes expertise will add further depth to our growing Russian practice.

“As we continue to expand our practice in Russia, we see an increasing client need for dispute resolution services, both within Russia and abroad. Many of our Russian clients look towards the United Kingdom for their dispute resolution needs and this hire will provide us with an invaluable axis between our Moscow and London offices and further strengthen our client offering in Russia.”

The hire follows a recent trend by firms in Moscow to boost their disputes offerings as Russia continues to push Moscow as a forum for disputes (2 April 2012).

In October 2011 White & Case hired Grigory Chernyshov from Russian law firm Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners to head its Russian dispute resolution practice (13 October 2011).

In June last year Dmitry Kurochkin, head of Herbert Smith Freehill’s litigation and arbitration practice and employment group, left the firm for Dechert barely a year after he was promoted to the role (21 June 2012).

Meanwhile, Berwin Leighton Paisner Paisner hired arbitration expert Roman Khodykin from Clifford Chance’s Moscow office in May 2012 and last month Linklaters of counsel Alexei Dudko joined Hogan Lovells, bringing with him a team of associates.