We are continuously updating this article to include new posts and comments from legal tech leaders around the globe
Litera’s CEO Avaneesh Marwaha has said in a post on LinkedIn that the global Litera family stands up for Ukraine, as business leaders are urged to speak out in support of the besieged nation.
Marwaha said in a post on 28 February: “If you know Litera, you know we have an amazing team in Ukraine. With nearly 75 strong, I stand behind them as they protect their families, friends and land. Litera is using resources to provide critical aid where we can. The global Litera family stands up for #ukraine.”
Over 100 R&D centres of major global companies are located in Ukraine, which online freelance site Upwork rates as the third best place in the world to find people with advanced tech and IT skills.
Other legal tech vendors to have taken a public stand in support of Ukraine include legal template startup Genie AI, where co-founder and CEO Rafie Faruq said on LinkedIn: “If you know any Ukrainians looking for jobs and relocation, we created a special form on https://lnkd.in/dBJv5z4c – please share.”
Genie AI posted separately: “Genie wholeheartedly supports Ukrainians and refugees from war. For any Ukrainians looking for jobs abroad and relocation, please fill this special form we created, which is shared publicly with other companies hiring in addition to us: https://hubs.la/Q014-15g0
Others from the wider tech industry to speak out include Revolut, whose co-founder Vlad Yatsenko is from Ukraine. In blog post on 26 February, the British financial services company said that aside from focusing on supporting its people in Ukraine, they have waived transfer fees for sending money to a Ukrainian bank account and are working with the Red Cross to enable millions of customers globally to donate.
LinkedIn has been awash over the weekend with posts urging more business leaders to take a public stand in support of Ukraine. Jason Fox, London managing partner at US law firm Bracewell said: “I am not seeing business leaders speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Keeping your heads down? Time to speak out. If you have a view now is the time to express it and act on it. Everyone can do something.”
Responding to his post, Simon Tysoe, a corporate and regulatory partner at global giant Latham & Watkins said: “It is poor that leaders remain silent and have not yet taken action regarding ties with Russia. I would urge everyone to donate to their charity of choice involved in supporting Ukraine and its people if they can. I would also ask that you contact your local MP to voice exactly what you expect European democracies to do in the face of this.”
And Michele Alexander, a partner at Indiana-headquartered firm Barnes & Thornburg said: “I am really glad that you posted this. There are times where there cannot be a distinction between “business” or “work” and everything else. Compartmentalizing makes us accessories.”
International law firms having to respond to the crisis include Baker McKenzie, CMS and Dentons, which have closed their offices in Kyiv. Bakers said in a statement on 24 February: “In light of the military action underway in Ukraine, we have closed our office in Kyiv until the situation stabilizes. We are closely monitoring developments at all times and are doing everything possible to support our people during these challenging circumstances.”
CMS said: “Although our communication lines remain open, we have made the decision to close our Kyiv office until further notice. Our thoughts are with our colleagues, clients and friends during this difficult time. We, like many, hope for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.”
According to Reuters, at least two Ukraine-based firms – 140-lawyer Asters and Avellum, a full-service law firm with 90 employees – have also shuttered their offices and say their employees are safe.
Security of client data is top of mind and Reuters reports that Serhiy Chorny, a managing partner of Baker McKenzie’s Kyiv office, said in an email: “We have well tested, top-of-the-market security procedures for client data and other sensitive data, including storage and back-up on servers outside of Ukraine.”
Baker McKenzie, meanwhile, is reported to be parting ways with major state-owned Russian clients amid heightened sanctions and a growing call for the West to take action, as Ukraine continues to defend against the Russian invasion.
The international firm told Law.com International that it is “reviewing and adjusting our Russia-related operations and client work to align with all applicable sanctions and comply with these fast-evolving laws”, and “this will mean in some cases exiting relationships completely.”
Bar leaders globally have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “gross violation of international law.” In a statement out on 25 February, The Bar Council of England and Wales, the Faculty of Advocates, the Bar Council of Northern Ireland and the Bar of Ireland said: “The Bar Council of England and Wales, the Bar of Northern Ireland, the Faculty of Advocates and the Bar of Ireland unequivocally condemn the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Ukraine is a sovereign state entitled to self-determination. International law requires the Russian Federation to respect Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty. This act of war is a gross violation of international law as set out in the UN Charter.”
28 February, 19.45 GMT
Legatics is the latest legal tech company to publicly declare their support for Ukraine, issuing the post below. Legatics has team members in the country, and has relocated staff and provided accommodation. Founder and CEO Anthony Seale said: “Having visited the country and worked with such talented people, it has been heartbreaking for us to see the outbreak of war in Ukraine.”
28 February, 22:00 GMT
Intapps’ chief strategy officer Mark Holman says: “It’s hard to express the sorrow, anger and frustration for all we are seeing this week. We have Intapp‘ers that are now in harm’s way and faced with defending their country. I can’t begin to imagine how they and their families must feel right now. I want to express my support for them, all of the Ukrainian people and the admiration I have for their courage and the courage of their people and leaders. I can only hope there is a path ahead to resolve this.” #Ukraine #Intapp #standwithukraine