Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has confirmed it is shutting down its operations in Russia.
The law firm today announced that it plans to cut ties with Russian clients and close down its Moscow office which employs 50 staff members. The vocal condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks a turn around for the firm which last week advised its lawyers not to comment publicly on sanctions.
In a statement today the law firm said it “stands unequivocally with the people of Ukraine who are suffering as a result of the increasingly brutal invasion by Russia.”
“We are not accepting any further instructions from businesses, entities or individuals connected with the current Russian regime, irrespective of whether they are sanctioned or not,” the law firm confirmed in a statement to City A.M..
The company said that it is reviewing whether it is able to exit from existing work with Russian partners and said it will donate the profits from continuing work to humanitarian and charitable causes. Norton Rose Fulbright will also provide pro bono support to Ukranians seeking to relocate.
It comes after the firm admitted last week that it had sent a memo to staff urging lawyers not to comment on sanctions. In comments to City A.M. the firm said “we take client confidentiality extremely seriously and it is standard practice for us to issue internal notices on any developing legal and regulatory issues, where clients may be directly or indirectly affected.”
The stance bucked the trend amongst rival law firms which had broken off ties with Russia. Earlier today, legal giant Linklaters confirmed to City A.M. it planned to close down its entire Russian operations, after a presence of more than three decades.
Baker McKenzie also confirmed it is reviewing its ties to Russia with a view to cutting links with certain clients.