CMS Cameron McKenna is gearing up to exploit Russia’s nascent PPP/PFI market with the hire of five lawyers to its Moscow office.

The firm has swooped on Coudert Brothers, securing five lawyers. Projects specialist Kirill Ratnikov joins as a ‘local’, or salaried, partner and will lead the firm’s push into Russian infrastructure projects, alongside fellow Coudert associate Yevgeny Voevodin and former Coudert paralegal Petr Baranovsky, who joins Camerons as an associate.

Finance and derivatives specialist Sergey Avramov has been appointed of counsel and will work alongside former Coudert associate Alexander Dolgov.

The hires bring to 29 the total number of lawyers in Camerons’ Moscow office, including five partners.

Coudert’s Moscow operation has recently witnessed the relocation of its former managing partner Jonathan Cahn to Washington DC and the departure of partner Derek Bloom to an in-house position at Golden Telecom.

The manager of Cam-erons’ Moscow office, partner David Griston, said the hires were designed to capitalise on potential in Russian PPP, specifically in major transport infrastructure such as roads and rail.

Last month the Russian Transport Ministry appointed the GiprodorNII consortium to prepare a feasibility study into the construction of the first high-speed motorway between Moscow and St Petersburg. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising on the project.

Another early entrant into the Russian market is Linklaters, which last year advised on the PPP financing of a new bus fleet in St Petersburg.