Press Release

Morgan Lewis Strengthens International Practice with Additional Growth in London, Expansion into Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

LONDON, MOSCOW, and ALMATY—May 8, 2012: Morgan Lewis today confirmed that ten partners will join the firm's Business and Finance Practice, resident in the UK, Russia, and Kazakhstan. With the arrival of this group, the firm will continue to cement its presence in London—where it will have grown from 21 to 45 attorneys over the past year—and will launch new offices in Moscow and Almaty. The expansion will bring to 24 the total number of cities where the international AmLaw 100 firm will have offices.

"Today's announcement signals our commitment to growing how our clients are growing—globally—and investing strategically in our core areas of strength by attracting leading practitioners who share our values of teamwork and excellence," noted Francis M. Milone, Chair of Morgan Lewis. "We are building on our tradition of adding teams of lawyers who practice in areas of strategic importance to our clients—London, where our latest additions bring significant litigation and corporate capacity, and the emerging markets of Russia and Central Asia so important to the global energy industry."

"The partners who will be joining us are among the very best at what they do—helping multinational companies navigate the opportunities and risks of engaging in business around the world," added Charles E. Engros, Leader of the firm's Business and Finance Practice. "Their years of experience advising on transactions in the UK, Europe, and the emerging economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia will serve our clients well."

Among the lawyers joining the firm in London is Bruce Johnston, who was most recently the Chair of the Bank and Institutional Finance Group and Co-head of the European Insolvency Group at his former firm. He is joined by colleagues Amanda Jennings, who advises both lenders and borrowers on multibillion dollar deals across a number of industry sectors, and Amy B. Comer, who specializes in mergers and acquisitions. The six-partner team in Moscow will be led by Brian L. Zimbler, a dealmaker who splits his time between Moscow and London and has advised on some of the largest foreign investments in the countries of the former Soviet Union. It also includes Jonathan H. Hines, who has been involved in large-scale investment transactions for more than 20 years and splits his time between Moscow and New York. He was most recently the head of their former firm's Russia/CIS energy projects practice group is regularly involved in cutting-edge multibillion oil and gas and LNG projects. They will be joined by partners Oleg I. Berger, Carter Brod, Roman Dashko, and Vasilisa Strizh; as well as local partners Dmitri Kunitsa, Nane Oganesyan, and Dina Kzylkhodjaeva. The Almaty office will be spearheaded by Aset A. Shyngyssov, who has more than 15 years of experience handling complex transactions in various industries, including oil and gas, energy, and banking throughout Kazakhstan and elsewhere in Central Asia.

They will join a Business and Finance Practice comprised of more than 300 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia that focuses on mergers and acquisitions (including joint ventures, spin-offs, and strategic alliances), energy transactions (including oil and gas, utilities, and renewable energy), private equity, fund formation, finance, restructuring, securities (including public and private equity and debt offerings), emerging business and technology, outsourcing transactions, and tax. Applying a deep understanding of virtually every industry and type of business enterprise, Morgan Lewis attorneys serve as outside general counsel to many of the world's leading companies and act as special counsel to others either in specific areas or on a transactional basis.

Of particular interest to clients doing business in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Morgan Lewis is a leading provider of legal services in the global energy industry, with extensive experience advising on some of the world's most complex and significant energy transactions. The firm's attorneys—operating from more than half a dozen cities around the world—are well versed in national and cross-border transactions, as well as a wide range of energy and energy-related industry sectors. They have considerable experience managing and negotiating complex transactions in electric power; upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas; LNG; gas transportation; power transmission; and renewable energy projects.

"We are thrilled to welcome our new Business and Finance partners, as well as the of counsel and associates who join our Litigation Practice today, and we are excited to enhance the wide array of services we offer," said Charles Lubar, Managing Partner of the firm's London office. "Our dramatic growth in the UK over the past year—more than doubling our headcount in London—includes new lawyers not only in our Corporate and Litigation Practices, but in Energy, Private Investment Funds, and Immigration as well."

Following in the footsteps of Peter Sharp, Nick Greenwood, and David J. Waldron—three leading solicitors who joined Morgan Lewis late last week—one litigation of counsel and four associates will join the London office this week. Seven business and finance associates are expected to join in the coming weeks as well.

The latest additions come on the heels of announcements that the firm added a number of lawyers in the US last week, including a four-attorney team in New York and Los Angeles led by Marshall Stoddard, who will serve as a co-chair of the firm's Finance Practice and the former General Counsel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Charles A. Moore, in Houston.