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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is set to launch a Moscow office with two litigation partners from Dechert.
The firm has hired litigators Ivan Marisin and Vasily Kuznetsov. Both lawyers joined Dechert last year from Clifford Chance.
Marisin is particularly well known, having advised domestic and international clients in more than 100 major litigations and arbitrations worldwide over the past two decades.
He joined Clifford Chance in 1992, becoming head of the litigation and arbitration practice of its Moscow office and, between 2000-10, Moscow managing partner.
He is best known for representing Bank of New York Mellon in a $22.5bn claim brought by the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, the largest case ever heard by a Russian state court. Marisin also represented Russian uranium seller Tenex in a $1bn arbitration in Stockholm with a final award in favour of Tenex.
Kuznetsov joined Dechert last year as counsel, the same role he held at Clifford Chance, but was made up to partner in January. He had been at Clifford Chance since 2002.
In a statement Quinn Emanuel managing partner John Quinn described Moscow as a key source of work for his firm’s practices in London and the US.
“We’re very excited that Ivan and Vasily have agreed to help us exploit the opportunities that Russia presents to the west,” added Quinn. “We’re fundamentally a trial firm, and Ivan, who is widely acknowledged as one of the most experienced and toughest advocates in Russia, is a like-minded individual who we’re confident will contribute to our brand and practice internationally.”
Both lawyers’ start dates at Quinn Emanuel are currently being negotiated, although it is understood that Marisin has a three-month notice period while Kuznetsov’s is one month.
It is not yet clear whether any of Dechert’s Moscow litigation associates will follow the duo to the rival US firm.
The hires marks a period of significant growth for Quinn Emanuel in Europe. In the past year the firm has doubled the size of its London office to 20 lawyers following a series of lateral partner hires (1 August 2011).
Quinn Emanuel also launched its first continental European office last year, opening in Germany with the recruitment of a five-lawyer team from Allen & Overy (23 February 2010).