White & Case bulks up Moscow with Clifford Chance hire

White & Case has poached M&A partner Andrei Dontsov from Clifford Chance in Moscow.

The hire of Dontsov, who was believed to have acted as the liaison between CC’s Moscow and Kiev offices, is part of a long-term plan by White & Case to increase its presence in Russia and CIS.

“We set out a strategic plan to increase the number of partners and lawyers in Moscow,” said Jan Matejcek, regional section head for Central and Eastern Europe.

“We also wanted to expand the footprint of the office in the upper tier of the market. Andrei has a lot of corporate relationships and he’s the type of entrepreneurial, dynamic and outgoing lawyer that we like as a firm. He’s a guy who’s going to shine at White & Case.”

The firm’s positive news from its CEE region follows a series of defections from its other international offices that included three partners in the Middle East and four in London (9 March).

Matejcek – who has overseen other lateral hires in CEE this year including Salans head of corporate and competition Lucian Bondoc in Romania (14 April) – said the hire of Dontsov shows the firm’s growing commitment to Russia and CIS.

“We are bullish on Russia. This strategic and powerful enhancement of the capabilities and expertise of the corporate and M&A team will be welcomed by our growing Russian corporate client base as well as by our multinational clients.

“Andrei will be a great asset to our existing team as we focus on major economic transaction flows between Moscow and our global network, particularly London.”

White & Case opened its Moscow office in 1991. It now has 15 partners, 45 associates and two counsel in the city, taking its total lawyer count to 62.