Milbanks' Moscow practice secures former Russian adviser

New York firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has appointed a leading specialist capital market and project finance lawyer in a bid to resurrect its presence in Moscow.

Holly Nielsen, a former senior adviser to the chairman of the Russian Federal Securities Commission and former head of US firm Baker & Botts' Moscow office, was appointed partner and head of Milbank Tweed's Moscow office this month. She replaces David Slade, who was poached by Allen & Overy last September. But unlike Slade, who was based in New York, Nielsen will be based in Moscow.

The coup is seen as a chance for Milbank Tweed to revive its Moscow practice, which critics say never really recovered from the departure of managing partner Richard Bernard several years ago.

Eric Silverman, head of the firm's global project finance group, said the firm had remained involved in a number of general projects in Russia since Slade's departure.

“We are very happy to have Holly aboard because she is someone with leadership potential,” he said. “We think she is going to do great things for us over there.”

Silverman added that the firm was in the process of recruiting international and local lawyers for the Moscow office.

“Russia is extremely active and there is a lot of enthusiasm about the potential there, particularly in capital markets and project finance,” he said.