London's leading law firms fear sanctions on Russia

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London’s leading law firms scrambling to assess potential financial hit if sanctions slapped on Russian clients


London’s leading law firms are scrambling to assess the potential financial hit if sanctions are slapped on their Russian clients. 

The West could be about to take action against Russian companies in retaliation for a potential invasion of Ukraine. UK lawyers have been cashing in by representing Russian clients – including Roman Abramovich – involved in high-profile trials in the past decade. 

Flying the flag: The West could be about to take action against Vladimir Putin's Russia in retaliation for a potential invasion of Ukraine

Flying the flag: The West could be about to take action against Vladimir Putin’s Russia in retaliation for a potential invasion of Ukraine    

Magic Circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is among a group of British companies with clients from Russia including lender VTB Bank, which is fighting a High Court case against Credit Suisse and the Republic of Mozambique. 

Sources said the legal bill is around £1million. Steptoe & Johnson partner Neil Dooley, who represents the Russia-based Otkritie Bank, said: ‘Were sanctions to be imposed on Russian banks and other Russian state companies, this could have a chilling effect on City law firms.’ 

Freshfields declined to comment.

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