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Is your firm cool enough to get on Russian bank RenCap’s legal roster?

Evgenia Bogdanova
Evgenia Bogdanova

Although Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital (RenCap) has refuted claims of an impending panel review, there’s no shortage of interest from the legal market.

RenCap, which typically reviews its roster every two years, regularly uses a number of international and local law firms, and retains Linklaters for M&A and capital markets work. Its panel is not as rigid as many other banks’ though, and it is prepared to go off-panel when required. As Evgenia Bogdanova, head of legal in the bank’s Moscow office, told The Lawyer in April, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is not currently a panel firm but has advised the bank on a number of deals, including IPOs for HMS Hydraulic Machines & Systems Group and Ros Agro.

Cleary’s relationship with RenCap was bolstered in 2010 when capital markets partner Ashar Qureshi left the firm to become RenCap’s vice chairman. He left the bank earlier this year to become an executive vice-chairman at Luminaire Films.

Aside from Linklaters, other law firms believed to be on the panel are Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith, Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins and White & Case.

Herbert Smith has particularly strong relations with RenCap and in 2008 it hired the bank’s executive director and co-head of legal and compliance Evgeny Zelensky.

For any firm looking to win a spot on the roster, Bogdanova stressed that RenCap has high standards.

“There’s a risk to our reputation, so we don’t want to work with firms that aren’t well-known,” says Bogdanova.