27 June – London, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kyiv, Tbilisi – LAWFU…

27 June – London, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kyiv, Tbilisi – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The EY Law CIS practices of Russia and the CIS will join DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary (“DLA Piper”), creating one of the largest legal practices in the region and marking the largest lateral transaction in the history of the Russian and the CIS legal market. The move will significantly enhance DLA Piper’s existing five-lawyer Moscow practice and will give the global legal services provider a leading presence in St. Petersburg, as well as offices in two new countries – Georgia and Ukraine.

EY Law CIS is a full-service practice with specialist lawyers in the areas of corporate, M&A, tax, finance, real estate and hospitality, litigation, intellectual property and energy. Its staff of over 80 lawyers, including five existing and three new partners, will all join DLA Piper, bringing with them a formidable group of international and domestic clients. The EY Law CIS practice is currently associated with Ernst & Young.
“This is a great move for us as we have been keen to develop our profile in Russia and the CIS for some time now. The EY Law CIS team are experienced and client-focused, both of which are core to the service philosophy we deliver across the globe,” said Steven De Keyser, DLA Piper’s Managing Director of Continental Europe.
DLA Piper’s Board approved the integration on 10 June 2005 and its equity partners voted in favour of the move on 21 June 2005. The EY Law CIS practice will formally become part of DLA Piper on 1 July 2005. DLA Piper’s Moscow team will join the Moscow based EY Law CIS team at their premises.

This move further reinforces DLA Piper’s commitment to enhancing its presence and capabilities across Europe as part of the global services it offers in the US and Asia. From 1 July 2005, post- integration, DLA Piper will have 53 offices in 20 countries and over 2,900 lawyers.

Commenting on the move, Constantine Lusignan-Rizhinashvili, Managing Partner of the EY Law CIS team, who will assume the CIS Regional Managing Partner role for DLA Piper, said: “We considered many options when deciding our future and integrating with DLA Piper was by far our preferred choice. We are committed to growth in the CIS and were naturally looking for a partner which was also committed to realising the full potential of the region. DLA Piper, with its global focus and commercial dynamism, was an obvious choice.”

Nigel Knowles, Joint CEO of DLA Piper, commented: “This is a great move for everyone involved. The team in Russia, Ukraine and Georgia will be a valuable extension to the global capabilities of our business and will significantly reinforce our existing practice. The region offers huge opportunities and we now have the critical mass necessary to provide the international experience our clients need. We’ll have the second largest practice in Russia and intend to build on this strength across the region.”

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