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25 Feb 2022

John Malpas & Ben Rigby, The Global Legal Post (UK)

Ukraine: Several leading law firms close local offices citing staff safety and well-being as highest priority

"'Pray for Ukraine and Ukrainian people' – Arzinger Law Office defiant as IBA condemns 'illegal' Russian invasion", 24 Feb 2022

A leading Kyiv-based law firm [Arzinger Law Office] … issued a defiant statement condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as representatives of the international legal community denounced it as a clear violation of international law and international firms closed their local offices.

The International Bar Association condemned the invasion 'in the strongest terms'.

IBA President Sternford Moyo said: "This act by President Putin is a watershed moment that indisputably violates international law. Member States of the United Nations have, since 1945, agreed that territory should only change hands by consent…

Meanwhile, international firms Baker McKenzie, CMS, Dentons and Taylor Wessing all confirmed today that they have closed their Kyiv offices as they look to prioritise staff safety and assemble remote and regional teams to continue advising clients.

'Their safety and wellbeing is our number one priority and our thoughts are with them and everyone affected at this extremely difficult time….’

Dentons said: 'We are in regular contact with our team in Kyiv and are providing our colleagues with any assistance they need, including relocation assistance in the neighboring countries…’

Raimund Cancola, Taylor Wessing’s managing partner for CEE, said: ‘We are in touch and doing everything we can to support our colleagues and clients in Kyiv at this extremely difficult and concerning time. The wellbeing of our people is always of the highest priority.’