LG has muscled its way onto Lukoil Overseas’ legal panel after hiring a US consultant who has contacts with the business.

Lukoil Overseas, which is the international upstream subsidiary of Russian oil major Lukoil, has drawn up its first legal panel. Except for LG, all six firms on the panel have heavy Moscow presences.

LG won the role off the back of consultant Duncan Gray’s relationship with Lukoil’s in-house lawyer. Gray joined LG in September 2008. He was previously a partner at King & Spalding and head of Mayer Brown’s Houston office.

Lukoil Overseas vice-president and chief legal counsel Nikolay Isaakov said: “LG is the only law firm on our panel which has no office in Moscow. I appointed them because I have very long-term relations with Duncan Gray – I know him personally and he has very good experience in certain countries.”

Fifteen international firms pitched for the panel, but only Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Dewey & LeBoeuf, LG and Canadian firm Macleod Dixon won places.