Simmons & Simmons will launch in Moscow in October to open its 21st international office after taking on a senior in-house counsel.
The City firm has hired Renaissance Capital general counsel Konstantin Orlov as a partner for the new office. Orlov will head the firm's Russia practice, as first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (13 September).
The office, which will focus initially on financial markets, will be headed by capital markets partner Tony Smith, who is currently based in London. Banking partner Mark Norris is also being parachuted in from London.
The firm said that once its financial markets practice was established in Russia, it would look at offering other practice areas, with the plan being to have 25 lawyers in Moscow within three years.
Senior partner David Dickinson said: "Russia is a country of strategic importance to many of our clients and there are numerous opportunities for us to provide legal services on complex international work."
He added that Russia was a country "where demand for responsive and expert legal services far exceeds supply". This is Simmons' second international launch this year, coming after January's office opening in Amsterdam. The firm used a similar strategy there, leveraging off its strength in financial markets work.