Squire Sanders re-launches Kiev after raid on former ally

Squire Sanders & Dempsey has relaunched its own office in Ukraine, after taking an eight-lawyer team from its former local ally The Silecky Firm.

Silecky partner Peter Teluk joins as managing partner of the Squire Sanders office, along with a team of seven associates, in a move which sees the firm open its own independent office in Kiev for the second time.

Squire Sanders was one of the first international firms to open in Kiev when it arrived in 1992. In 2004 the firm transferred all of its lawyers to Silecky, signing an alliance agreement which expired this year.

Squire Sanders Europe practice coordinator Mark Cusick said the firm wanted to focus on Moscow at the time: “We were simply making a decision about resources and preferring Moscow over Kiev.”

He added: “In retrospect you could say it was a mistake. But the right thing to do now is get back in and go twice as hard.”

Squire Sanders focuses on corporate transactions in the telecoms sector in Ukraine, and at the end of last year its lawyers advised Vimpel Communications on its $4.3 billion acquisition of Golden Telecom.

The firm has focused on CEE as an area of international growth this year. In February the firm took two tax lawyers from Gide’s Warsaw office as well as Russia energy specialist Steven Sprague from Troutman Sanders.