October 1, 2023


Advocacy. Mediation. Success.

Russia/Ukraine Conflicts — Ethical Conflict Called, Client Selection Conflicts, PR and Reputation Risk

&#8220&#8216Baker McKenzie Should really Be Disqualified&#8217: Ga Law firm Wishes to Quit Business Representing Russian Lender&#8221 &#8212

  • &#8220As tension builds for Western regulation companies to break ties with major Russian clientele amid the fast-acquiring conflict in Ukraine, a Georgia legislation company is trying to get to disqualify an global business from symbolizing a business Russian lender.&#8221
  • &#8220Baker McKenzie Global associate Jacob M. Kaplan of New York is symbolizing VUZ-Bank JSC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ural Financial institution for Reconstruction and Advancement CB PJSC, in its request to consider discovery in the United States District Court docket for the Northern District of Ga for use in alleged fraud proceedings in Dubai.&#8221
  • &#8220But Poole Huffman demo legal professional Luke Andrews of Tucker, Georgia, has motioned to disqualify Baker McKenzie Intercontinental from continuing to signify VUZ-Bank, citing a conflict of interest.&#8221
  • &#8220The motion remains pending from December, but the present-day escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, coupled with Baker McKenzie’s the latest selection to cut ties with other Russian consumers, may influence the litigation.&#8221
  • &#8220&#8216A most elementary obligation of attorneys around the world is the obligation to shield shopper confidences, and a fortiori, not to deploy a client’s confidential data versus that consumer,&#8217 the motion drafted by Andrews read through. &#8216It most absolutely precludes legal professionals and legislation firms from obtaining a possible client’s information concerning an current dispute—while already symbolizing the other aspect in that dispute—and then continuing to characterize the other facet in that dispute. Baker McKenzie’s illustration of VUZ-Financial institution and Ural Lender against Hakan Agro offends this fundamental obligation, and ought to be stopped. Baker McKenzie must be disqualified.’&#8221
  • &#8220In the disqualification movement, Andrews mentioned that in mid-2021 Baker McKenzie sought to be retained by Hakan Agro to recommend on a company restructuring, &#8216even with presently representing VUZ-Financial institution towards Hakan Agro and the complete Hakan Team.’&#8221
  • &#8220Baker McKenzie is a single of quite a few companies that commenced parting ways with key Russian purchasers previous week amid heightened sanctions and a rising get in touch with for the West to take motion, as Ukraine carries on to defend towards the Russian invasion.&#8221

(Documented very last Friday): &#8220Moscow: Global corporates are turning their back again on Russia in their droves: It’s time for legislation firms to action up&#8221 &#8212

  • &#8220Authorized IT Insider asks intercontinental legislation corporations with a Moscow business what their ideas are for the jurisdiction. The time for legalistic twaddle is over, argues editor Caroline Hill.&#8221
  • &#8220For many legislation firms, nonetheless, the war in Ukraine has been a PR nightmare, irrespective of whether it be Norton Rose Fulbright telling lawyers they just can’t remark on sanctions, to the several companies that have issued obscure, legalistic statements when requested if they will sever ties with Russia. Then there is the company of Tory MP Bob Seely training parliamentary privilege to allege that attorneys from Harbottle & Lewis, CMS and Carter Ruck, as well as a barrister from Matrix Chambers are ‘amoral for operating with Putin allies.’&#8221
  • &#8220Many intercontinental law companies have an office in Moscow, and we asked the the greater part – primarily based on Authorized 500’s Russia listing – what their ideas are in and for the location. As a fast preface, we also spoke to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which stated (our terms not theirs) that it is not an possibility for legislation companies to ditch their business in Russia BP-type. But lawyers can discuss up in opposition to the Ukraine invasion. They can decrease new instructions. They can stop associations with Russian entities. And in a lot of scenarios they are obliged to. So, are they?&#8221
  • &#8220Allen & Overy, which has 24 legal professionals in Moscow and advises providers together with VTB Leasing and AerCap, has issued an unequivocal assertion condemning the actions taken by Russia. The magic circle firm is reviewing its Russia-linked portfolio, and suggests that it will refuse new directions and halt all Russia-linked function that goes versus its values.&#8221
  • &#8220Whilst Morgan Lewis did not pass public judgment on the invasion, spokesperson explained to us: &#8216Throughout our global workplaces we are and will stay in full compliance with the sanctions regimes outside of Russia the place we exercise, together with with respect to ceasing and declining shopper representations.’&#8221
  • &#8220Similarly, White & Circumstance said: &#8216We are reviewing our Russian and Belarusian consumer representations and having techniques to exit some representations in accordance with applicable policies of skilled responsibility. Our Moscow business office is open up and carries on to function. We are complying absolutely with all relevant sanctions, and we go on to intently observe this quickly evolving condition.’&#8221
  • &#8220A much more heartfelt assertion came from DLA Piper, whilst it’s unclear how significant the assertion is on tooth. A spokesperson mentioned: &#8216We have watched in dismay and disbelief at the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. We stand with the people today of Ukraine and our feelings are with them and all these in the location, and further than, who are influenced by this tragedy. We are intently checking the quickly altering predicament and supplying support to our individuals and their people where ever we can. We are of study course complying absolutely with all applicable sanctions globally and are urgently reviewing all Russia-connected consumer engagements to make certain we do not act in a way that conflicts with our values.’&#8221
  • &#8220And a slightly less committal Hogan Lovells mentioned: &#8216We just cannot remark on precise consumer associations but we proceed to closely watch the predicament and the rapidly-evolving legislation and sanctions globally and to align our customer get the job done, and our operations, accordingly. That might imply ceasing get the job done where ideal. We regularly evaluate our functions and portfolio of operate and any new shopper mandates to guarantee we are complying with sanctions specifications and community federal government steerage, including the guidance from British isles, U.S. and other governments. Our feelings are with all those people persons influenced by the condition in Ukraine, like a lot of of our possess colleagues who have family members in the location.’&#8221
  • &#8220Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner explained: &#8216As with most multinational corporations working in the location, we have been closely coordinating to navigate the complexities of the predicament. We are adapting to comply with applicable sanctions and responding as required in the circumstances. Owing to confidentiality, we are not capable to share additional.’&#8221
  • &#8220We have acquired nothing back from Eversheds Sutherland, Akin Gump, Dentons, Latham & Watkins, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Clifford Chance and Dechert, all who have workplaces in Moscow.&#8221

(on Monday): &#8220Law business Norton Rose Fulbright to exit Russia above Ukraine invasion&#8221 &#8212

  • &#8220Norton Rose Fulbright is ending its operations in Russia, starting to be the biggest regulation agency so significantly to exit the country because Russian forces invaded Ukraine and brought on waves of international sanctions.&#8221
  • &#8220The 4,000-law firm company stated in a assertion early Monday that it is closing its Moscow office &#8216as immediately as we can, in compliance with our qualified obligations,&#8217 contacting the wellbeing of its team in the region a &#8216priority.’&#8221
  • &#8220The London-established company Linklaters on Friday reported it will also go away Russia and will drop to depict any entities less than the impact of the country’s current regime.&#8221
  • &#8220Two other key regulation firms with a Russia existence, CMS and Baker Botts, have claimed they are examining their future in the nation. Swedish company Mannheimer Swartling final week suspended its Russian functions and is identifying whether or not it can leave the sector.&#8221