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Severing Russian Ties: A&O, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Squire, and Winston Exit Russia

Severing Russian Ties: A&O, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Squire, and Winston Exit Russia

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Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills, Squire Patton Boggs, and Winston & Strawn have confirmed they are exiting Russia.

"This was not an easy decision to make as we have 55 people there and we needed to make sure that we could take this action with their best welfare in mind," read an A&O press release announcing the firm will wind down its office in Moscow, which had been established in 1993. "Our thoughts remain with all those in Ukraine and neighboring countries who are most directly affected by this crisis," the firm concluded.

Following its earlier statement that the firm is "shocked and appalled by the continuing and increasing Russian military aggression in Ukraine and the resulting human suffering in Ukraine and the surrounding countries," Clifford Chance announced "steps for an orderly wind-down of [its] operations in Moscow."

"We strongly condemn the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and are appalled by the humanitarian consequences," a Herbert Smith Freehills statement read, announcing that the firm has "taken the decision to close [its] office in the country." The Moscow office was described as a "valued and successful part of [its] business," with the firm stating it is "working closely with the team there to support [its] colleagues who have been directly impacted by this decision."

"As circumstances surrounding the conflict in Ukraine continue to change rapidly, it has become clear that it is no longer tenable for us to continue our operations in Russia and we have therefore decided to wind down our Moscow office," a Squire Patton Boggs spokesperson commented. Talking about the team, they added: "Since the beginning of this crisis, our foremost focus has been on the safety of our colleagues, particularly in Moscow. We will continue to provide them with the support they need and extend our sincere gratitude for their valuable contributions to the firm," while concluding that "the humanitarian and economic toll of this conflict continues to be severely distressing and we all continue to hope a peaceful resolution can be found.”

"Winston continues to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the resulting loss of life, destruction, and needless suffering," said Winston Chairman Tom Fitzgerald. "We are closing our Moscow operations out of a sense of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. This decision is simply the right thing to do, and our clients understand and respect that."

These five bring the total confirmed international exits to 14, following Eversheds Sutherland and Morgan Lewis (reported here), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Latham & Watkins, Mannheimer Swartling, and Gowling WLG (reported here), Linklaters and Borenius (reported here), and Norton Rose (reported here).

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