Conyers shuts Moscow after five years in Russia

Offshore firm Conyers Dill & Pearman has closed its Moscow office, relocating office head Claire McConway back to London five years after launching in Russia.

McConway formally moved to London earlier this month, taking up a new role as head of the Russia and CIS practice for London. She has worked for Conyers since 2009.

Conyers established its Moscow office in 2008, sending partner Caroline O’Hare to Russia to manage the office (3 March 2008). The following year, the Moscow office forged an alliance with Cypriot firm Antis Triantafyllides & Sons (30 November 2009).

Conyers was the only offshore law firm in Russia and the office was small, with only McConway and associate Alexandra Karaganova listed on the firm’s website currently.

Co-managing partners David Lamb and Narinder Hargun told The Lawyer the decision to close Moscow had been taken several months ago and coincided with Cyprus-related work dropping off. Russian investors have used Cyprus as a domicile for their corporate structures for many years but foreign investment in Cyprus has stalled following the island’s economic crisis (10 June 2013).

The firm’s Russia team also advises clients on work relating to Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Mauritius.

Moscow was a representative office, which was understood to be sending most of its files to other Conyers offices to be dealt with rather than handling them on the ground in Russia.