Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s Russian operations are taking a major hit, with Moscow rainmaker Ilya Rybalkin citing ongoing geopolitical tensions as being behind his decision to leave the Am Law 100 firm and form an independent 13-lawyer outfit in the city.

Alongside former Akin Gump partner Suren Gortsunyan and a number of other firm colleagues, Rybalkin is launching Rybalkin, Gortsunyan & Partners (RGP), which will be focused on cross-border disputes and high-end corporate work.