Norton Rose Fulbright has said that it is winding down its operations in Russia and will be closing its Moscow office. In a statement today (7 March) the international law firm said: “Norton Rose Fulbright stands unequivocally with the people of Ukraine who are suffering as a result of the increasingly brutal invasion by Russia. Norton Rose Fulbright is taking the following actions:
“We are winding down our operations in Russia and will be closing our Moscow office as quickly as we can, in compliance with our professional obligations. The wellbeing of our staff in the region is a priority. We thank our 50 colleagues in Moscow for their loyal service and will support them through this transition.
“Some immediate actions are possible and we are taking them. We are not accepting any further instructions from businesses, entities or individuals connected with the current Russian regime, irrespective of whether they are sanctioned or not. In addition, we continue to review exiting from existing work for them where our professional obligations as lawyers allow. Where we cannot exit from current matters, we will donate the profits from that work to appropriate humanitarian and charitable causes.
“We are working with our charitable partners in every region to raise funds to help the people of Ukraine, as well as providing pro bono support to those Ukrainians and others who are being forced to relocate.”
The firm had come under criticism for telling its lawyers not to comment on Russian sanctions. However it becomes one of the first international firms in Russia to confirm that it is exiting the jurisdiction, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Magic circle law firm Linklaters said in the last two days that it will exit Russia amid the Ukraine crisis.