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Ukrainian firm Magister & Partners and Russian litigation boutique Legas Legal Solutions have signalled their intention to merge, agreeing to an exclusive alliance that will create a 10-partner firm based in Kyiv and Moscow.
The merged entity will house 75 lawyers and have an expected annual turnover of $18m (£9.77m). It will operate under the name Magisters Legas in Russia, but continue under Magister & Partners in the Ukraine.
Magister managing partner Oleg Riabokon said the move to align with Legas was part of his firm's CIS expansion strategy. "We're building a unified system to provide legal and advocacy services and this is the first such agreement on the legal market on former Soviet Union territory," he said.
Legas managing partner Dmitriy Diakin added: "By the end of this year we're planning to decide on transition to the new integration level of our firms."
Litigation will remain a key focus for the firm, with more than 30 lawyers in the practice group. Magister litigation partners Alexi Reznikov and Sergei Vlasenko are renowned in the Ukraine for their involvement in the 2004 presidential election dispute.
Magister also boasts a formidable corporate group. The firm advised on more than $10bn (£5.43bn) worth of deals in 2005.