Chadbourne pulls out of Kiev citing market turmoil

Chadbourne & Parke is in the process of closing its Kiev office, citing a “problematic long-term outlook” among its reasons for pulling out of Ukraine.

Chadbourne currently employs two international partners and a further six lawyers in Ukraine. The team is understood to be winding down open matters while seeking new employment.

A spokesperson for the firm said in a statement: “We made the determination to close the Kiev office several months ago and communicated with the team there at that time. There is no official date of closure at this time, and the office has remained open while we have unwound our business there.

“Unfortunately, the Ukrainian economy has struggled over a number of years, leading to a severe drop-off in outside investment. The recent turmoil and economic climate have only made the situation worse. In view of the currently difficult legal marketplace and the problematic long term outlook, it was not practicable for us to continue our operations in Kiev.

“We appreciate the excellent service to the firm and to our clients provided by the lawyers and staff of the Kiev office over the years. We certainly wish them all the best and hope that the current turmoil ends peacefully for everyone involved.”

Chadbourne is the third foreign outfit to withdraw from Kiev within the past year, following the decision of German firms Beiten Burkhardt (2 December 2013) and Noerr (26 July 2013) to hive off their Ukrainian offices.

Meanwhile CMS suspended its trainee secondment to its Kiev office (28 February 2014).

A number of international firms are present in Kiev, including Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Dentons and DLA Piper. Late last year Scandinavian firm Magnusson launched in Ukraine (1 October 2013) while Squire Sanders signed a cooperation agreement with local firm Salkom (29 October 2013).

Ukrainian firm Sayenko Kharenko moved in the opposite direction when it launched a representative London office last October (28 October 2013).

The legal market in the country continues to be unstable following the ‘Euromaidan’ revolution earlier this year and Russia’s subsequent annexation of the Crimea peninsula (Lawyers on the edge, 7 April 2014).