Law giant Eversheds Sutherland has entered into an “exclusive” relationship with a newly-formed Russian law firm consisting entirely of its former employees just weeks after vowing to cut links with Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The London law firm said all of its Russian lawyers had transferred to its newly launched relationship firm, Birch Legal, which will continue to service Eversheds’ “international clients”.
Birch Legal in turn boasts to customers that “only the company’s name has changed.”
The launch comes after Eversheds last month vowed to exit the Russian market and sever its ties to the country, just weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.
At the time, Eversheds said it would “no longer have a presence in Russia,” as it took a firm moral stance against Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into Ukraine.
On its website, Birch Legal says it is set to act as Eversheds’ “exclusive partner” in the Russian market, as the firm boasts that it will keep all of its connections with “foreign colleagues on all current as well as new projects”.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said that while it was a commercial matter for the firm, Russia’s attack on Ukraine “must be a wake-up call for British businesses with commercial interests in Russia”.
“Businesses should think carefully about their actions on this matter, and we continue to welcome organisations and governments joining the whole international community in isolating Russia, both diplomatically and financially.”