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Press Release

Morgan Lewis Opens New Offices in Russia and Central Asia

May 29, 2012

MOSCOW & ALMATY—May 29, 2012: Morgan Lewis today announced the opening this week of new offices in Moscow, Russia and Almaty, Kazakhstan, with a total of 42 attorneys, including seven partners and three international partners. The new lawyers at the AmLaw 100 firm previously worked together at Dewey & LeBoeuf.

The Moscow and Almaty teams will advise multinational clients investing in the Russian Federation, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), including Central Asia and the Caspian region. They will also serve prominent companies from the region in transactions, disputes and other legal matters worldwide. While the energy sector will be a key practice area, the Moscow and Almaty lawyers will serve clients in a wide range of industries, including financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, media, real property, retail and technology.

The announcement brings to 24 the total number of locations where Morgan Lewis has offices around the globe. The firm has experienced significant international growth over the past several weeks, with the arrival of more than 70 lawyers, some 15 trainees and approximately 70 staff across offices in Europe, Asia, and the U.S., including a major expansion in London.

"Our lawyers in Moscow and Almaty have worked together as a team for many years. We are very excited to continue our practice at a leading international law firm," noted Brian L. Zimbler, managing partner of the Moscow office. "Morgan Lewis is distinguished by its commitment to excellence, culture of collegiality, and deep ties to key industry sectors. The firm has a strong, conservative management which shares our strategic vision for global legal services."

The Moscow team is well-known in the Russian market and has advised on some of the largest transactions in the region, with total values of several hundred billion dollars. The new Moscow office will be home to a team of nearly 80, including 32 lawyers and 45 staff.

The Almaty office will be spearheaded by partner Aset Shyngyssov, who has over 15 years of experience handling complex transactions in a wide range of industries, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure and banking, throughout Kazakhstan and Central Asia. He will lead a team of 25, including one counsel, eight associates, three trainees, and a dozen other personnel.

The Moscow partners include:

  • Brian L. Zimbler—M&A lawyer and corporate dealmaker who has advised on some of the largest foreign investments in the countries of the former Soviet Union over the past 20 years or more, with special focus on Russia and Kazakhstan.
  • Jonathan H. Hines—leading energy lawyer who has been involved in many of the largest-scale investment transactions in the region for the past 20 years. Currently, he is involved in several cutting-edge, multibillion dollar oil and gas and LNG projects in Russia.
  • Oleg I. Berger—prominent corporate and M&A lawyer who regularly advises on large, complex cross-border transactions. He served as International Chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Group, as well as Recruiting Partner and Director in Moscow at his former firm.
  • Vasilisa Strizh—senior M&A and securities lawyer who advises on cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint ventures, and capital markets transactions (including public and private securities offerings), both under Russian and foreign law.
  • Roman Dashko—focuses on corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions, both under Russian and foreign law. His practice involves substantial work with companies in the energy sector, as well as a wide range of other industries.
  • Carter Brod—U.S. and English-qualified specialist in capital markets transactions, with broad experience in international debt and equity securities offerings involving the Russia/CIS region.
  • Dmitri Kunitsa (International Partner)—heads the Moscow Property Practice and focuses on real property development, investment projects, and nearly all types of real estate transactions.
  • Nane Oganesyan (International Partner)—heads the Moscow Disputes Practice and specializes in international arbitration and litigation, with extensive experience in Russia and numerous other jurisdictions.
  • Dina Kzylkhodjaeva (International Partner)—advises clients on a wide range of corporate and M&A matters, international oil and gas development projects, energy-based financings, securities transactions, and project finance.

The Moscow and Almaty offices are both full-service legal practices, with emphasis on significant mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate finance, debt and equity capital markets transactions, and disputes, serving both international and local clients. They will also advise on matters involving intellectual property, real property, tax, environmental law, competition law, anti-bribery and compliance, and corporate governance, among other topics.

In the energy sector, the new offices' practices will encompass upstream oil and gas, oilfield services, power and renewable energy, and a broad range of other energy-related businesses. The energy practice will cover mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, farm-ins and farm-outs, joint ventures, licensing and regulatory issues, and financing of energy projects (including project finance and public-private partnership structures).