Lovells is bucking the trend by expanding its Moscow office as other firms retreat from the region.
US firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy is considering pulling out of Moscow, and Eversheds dissolved its office only a month ago (The Lawyer, 18 September).
Lovells, though, is taking on Larry George as a second partner for the office from US rival Squire Sanders & Dempsey to head up the energy practice. George will work in the oil and gas sector, and brings with him a client base that includes three major oil companies.
Managing partner of the office Daniel Gogek says: "We're now in a unique position - we opened in 1997 and many of the other UK firms were there before us… We were about 12 or 13 lawyers when the crisis hit, so we managed to stay at that level. Now we're growing to where we ought to be, which is about 20 lawyers."
The firm already does corporate and commercial work for energy clients, including Texaco, but has been keen to move into sector advice.