McKennas grows Moscow office

MCKENNA & Co is to expand its Moscow office by moving to new premises in the city three times bigger than its current office.

The new office will house up to 12 lawyers plus support staff, a conference room and the latest technology.

CIS group head Elena Kirillova says: “Expanding areas of work include acquisitions and advisory work. Foreign investors are looking to purchase shares following the privatisation programmes.

“A lot of people who set up smallholding subsidiaries two years ago are expanding dramatically. There is a lot of work for them and they are starting to become interested in employment law and so on.”

She adds: “I think we will need to expand for the next 10 years and then things should start to stabilise.”

Five trainees at the firm's London office are Russian speakers , and young Russian lawyers are to be trained in London to fuel the firm's expansion in the country.

McKennas also wants to expand across the country into Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine, Belarus and the Far East, where Japanese firms are starting investment programmes.

Earlier this year, the firm advised insurance-to-tobacco giant BAT Industries on its investment in the Uzbek tobacco industry.

The Moscow office has, among other things, worked on the establishment of the National Pollution Abatement Facility in conjunction with the Russian finance and environment ministries, and has advised Aeroflot on privatisation.