Magisters forms CIS best friends network

CIS-based firm Magisters has launched a network of preferred law firms across the former Soviet Union.


The Magisters best friends network has seen the Kiev-headquartered firm sign up six firms with coverage of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova to a referral and recommendation system. The arrangement is non-exclusive.

“If a law firm or client needs a reputable firm in this region, then we can help,” said Magisters founding partner Oleg Riabokon.

“All the firms have leading ­positions in their own right and we’ve worked with them. Magisters puts its reputation behind these firms.”

Riabokon said those included in the network will share IT and office space and attend client pitches with Magisters, but there will be no profit-sharing arrangements in place.

Magisters, which has offices in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and a representative office in the UK, entered discussions with the firms in the ­network at the beginning of the year.

“It doesn’t make sense to move into these countries ourselves,” said Riabokon. “Their markets are important, but not big enough for us to open a greenfield site. At the same time, it’s important for us to maintain a presence in the countries that are ­within our sphere.”

Magisters employs around 100 lawyers, with 11 partners and seven ­equity partners. Approximately 70 per cent of its clients come from the US or UK. In 2008 its turnover was $39.5m (£24.11m).