Law Firms Pull Out of RussiaMarch 15, 2022

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many multi-national law firms are closing their Russian offices.  At least two dozen big law firms have decided to stop business for the foreseeable future.  This affects upwards of 1000 attorneys practicing in Russia.  Some firms are moving their Moscow-based attorneys out of the country, at least in part due to concerns for their safety.  Like major corporations who are withdrawing from the country, these large law firms, are following suit.  There remains fewer than half a dozen international firms with a presence in Russia.  Some firms are also discontinuing any legal work anywhere in the world for individuals and other entities that are controlled or linked to the Russian state and/or the current regime. The risk to firm business and reputation is seen as being too high to continue operations in Russia, despite the large potential for matters relating to oil and gas, and other infrastructure work.

The firms, of course, must satisfy their professional obligations and ethic requirements regarding client representation.  Clients still need advice regarding their Russian business affairs.  The global development of Russia’s market since the early 1990’s has been attractive to big firms to grow their client base and their profitability.  But now, any monetary profit to be made in Russia has been deemed to be outweighed by firm values and culture. Some firms already had reduced their presence in Russia since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.  It is predicted that these current law firm closings in Russia will be long term, and for some, permanent.

Kirk Hartung is a member of the Mechanical Patent Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information please visit or contact Kirk directly via email at

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