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RUSSIA In the aftermath of 1998′s financial crisis, Western lawyers in Russia subsisted on insolvencies and debt restructurings. That meager diet left some outposts starving for work: Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy shut down its Moscow office late last year after it started scaling back its resources and lost its Moscow managing partner to Debevoise & Plimpton. Other firms cut back on lawyers, but a hardy dozen foreign firms still maintain significant offices in Moscow. Among them are Clifford Chance P�nder; Baker & McKenzie; Coudert Brothers; and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Although securitization work is still on the decline, M&A, restructuring, alternative dispute resolution, and foreign lending work are all on the rise for Russian companies, says Bruce Bean, a partner at Clifford Chance’s Moscow office. Energy work is at the core of most Global 100 firms’ presence in Russia. The deals are smaller in value and often more complex than they were during the economic boom of 1996 and 1997, but foreign investment in the oil and gas sector is increasing in Russia, as it is elsewhere in eastern Europe. Overall, the mood in Moscow is now optimistic, although investors are watching the global economic climate anxiously, according to Hugh Verrier, a Moscow-based White & Case partner. One reason for the new optimism is President Vladimir Putin’s reform agenda, says Bean. By removing predecessor Boris Yeltsin’s oligarchs from the political arena, introducing dozens of pro-investor and corporate governance bills, and modernizing the country’s tax system, “Putin has done precisely what the foreign investor community has wanted someone to do for years,” Bean says. John Huhs, head of the international practice at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, agrees, saying that it is easier to practice law now that there is less corruption in Moscow: “The robber barons are under control,” Huhs says. A fresh development that may enhance Russian relationships with Western investors is Putin’s promise to help American and British forces fight the Taliban regime in Afghanistan by allowing the use of Russian airspace. The only restriction on foreign lawyers in Russia is a ban on court appearances. Nonetheless, there’s no shortage of bureaucratic documents for lawyers to draft. For example, serving on the boards of more than two Russian companies requires foreigners to fill out a 30-page notification document. One joint venture deal required LeBoeuf’s Huhs and his team to file about 100 lengthy documents, because of Russia’s strict anti-monopoly laws. Reforms or no reforms, paperwork is forever. THE CIS The Commonwealth of Independent States is home to a vast amount of natural resources and raw materials, including oil, petroleum, and gas. About a half-dozen Global 100 firms — such as Denton Wilde Sapte; Baker & McKenzie; and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae — are some of the area’s largest foreign presences. Experts estimate that there are 200 billion barrels of oil and 600 billion cubic meters of gas under the Caspian Sea, surrounded by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. The CIS nations’ transition to a free-market economy has been slow and, at times, contentious, as countries and energy companies contend for access to those resources. That has meant plenty of work for Western lawyers. Take the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which runs from Baku, Azerbaijan, through Georgia to resource-starved Turkey. The $3 billion pipeline project, which is set to be operating in 2004, is led by the international petroleum conglomerate BP p.l.c.; Houston’s Baker Botts, which maintains a small office in Baku, serves as the pipeline’s project counsel. It’s not your typical domestic oil deal. “We led discussions and a long negotiation with Turkey,” says George Goolsby, the Houston-based head of Baker Botts’ energy department. Lawyers had to literally create the body of law surrounding the project: Before getting started, “you draft treaties between countries that set out a multilateral agreement as to how to do this,” Goolsby says. BP is also trying to build a gas pipeline that follows the same path as its oil pipeline. Goolsby says that it is too early to tell how September’s terrorist attacks on the United States will affect oil prices and project plans. Several former Soviet Republics, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, have agreed to let Western military forces use their airspace in the war on terrorism. In Kazakhstan, most law firms set up shop in Almaty, the country’s former capital, soon after Kazakhstan won its independence from Russia in 1991. (The capital moved from Almaty to Astana in December 1998.) But LeBoeuf’s Huhs says that the new hot spot is Atyrau, a Kazakh city on the coast of the Caspian Sea. Thanks to its proximity to the lush Tengiz oil field and vital pipelines, “Atyrau is becoming the Houston of Kazakhstan,” says Huhs. LeBoeuf is looking into opening an office there, he says.
Russia And The CIS
Putin’s reforms have made it easier to practice law in Russia, but the transition to a free-market economy in the CIS is slow and contentious.
Largest Foreign Firms In Russia Lawyers
Clifford Chance P�nder 59
Holland & Knight 34
Baker & McKenzie 33
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 28
Coudert Brothers 24
White & Case 24
Largest Foreign Firms In The CIS Lawyers
Denton Wilde Sapte (Almaty, Tashkent) 46
Baker & McKenzie (Almaty, Baku) 17
Coudert Brothers (Almaty) 10
Salans Hertzfeld (Almaty, Baku) 13
Bracewell & Patterson (Almaty) 7
LeBoeuf, Lamb (Almaty, Bishkek) 7
Sources: ICCLaw.com, The National Law Journal

POLAND Warsaw’s legal market has become increasingly competitive. In the mid- to late 1990s, Poland was a hot spot for M&A and privatization work, and a crop of foreign firms opened offices there. “They used to say that marketing in Warsaw consists of answering the phone,” says Steven Shone of the Warsaw office of London’s CMS Cameron McKenna. “That’s not true anymore. There is nothing like an economic slowdown for increasing efficiency.” After years of steady growth, Poland has seen increasing political and economic instability in the past two years. Some lawyers expect investors to pull back this year due to the slowdown in the U.S. economy. But there is some hope. Poland’s new parliament is dominated by the Democratic Left Alliance, which is expected to be better able to bring the country into the European Union than its former right-of-center government was. And that will make Poland more friendly to foreign investment, says Michael Davies, the head of Allen & Overy’s Warsaw office. Along with Allen & Overy, the bulk of Polish work is captured by Baker & McKenzie; Clifford Chance P�nder; Linklaters; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; and White & Case. Each has between four and five dozen lawyers there, and they keep busy with project finance and privatization work. Even in the slow economy, infrastructure work in the power, telecommunications and highway sectors will continue, and energy, rail and real estate work will remain strong, lawyers say. Still, look for a bit of contraction: “I would not be surprised if there is something of a shakeout in the year to come,” says Shone. “There have been too many entrants to the market in the last year.”

Poland’s Largest Firms
Despite an economic slowdown in recent years, Poland’s project finance and privatization work has kept indigenous and foreign firms busy.
Indigenous Firms Lawyers
Wardy�ski & Partners 73
Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak 48
Wierzbowski & Szubielska 45
Domanski, Zakrzewski, Palinka 43
Forystek G�ralczyk Rychlicki, Adwokaci i Radcowie Prawni 35
Foreign Firms Lawyers
Clifford Chance P�nder 52
White & Case 51
Allen & Overy 44
Weil, Gotshal & Manges 41
Hunton & Williams 31
Baker & McKenzie Gruszczynski & Partners 27
Sources: ICCLaw.com, The National Law Journal

THE CZECH REPUBLIC Clients in the Czech Republic face not only a global economic slump, but a constantly shifting legislative landscape. The country’s commercial code and securities and bankruptcy acts all have been changed this year in an effort to harmonize Czech law with European Union guidelines. In most cases, lawyers say, the changes have improved the clarity of Czech statutes. “This is good for business, but [it] also raises the complexity” because lawyers have to keep up with the changes, says White & Case partner Michal Dlouhy. Change is not new to the Czech legal market. In the early ’90s, privatizations and capital markets transactions like bond issuances constituted the bulk of legal work, says Kenneth Schiff, the managing partner of Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ Prague office. By the late ’90s, however, the lending market had “all but dried up” and work began winding down, he says. Today, only a handful of large privatizations are left to be completed, primarily in the energy, natural gas and telecommunications sectors. For such work, Weil Gotshal competes with White & Case and British firms Allen & Overy and CMS Cameron McKenna. Schiff says his firm is currently working on the privatization of a Czech energy power monopoly and the privatization of the Czech Republic’s last state-controlled bank, among other things. Capital markets work in Prague is “pretty dead,” says White & Case’s Dlouhy, though he says his firm is representing the underwriters in a planned eurobond offering by Cesky Telecom. Firms stay busy doing bankruptcy work, which saw a dramatic increase this year. Over the long term, lawyers predict a stronger Czech market. Dlouhy notes that banking work is stable, with an increase in acquisition finance and real estate finance work. And because the country has recently reformed its tax incentive legislation, Schiff says that a rise in foreign investment in the Czech Republic is possible.

The Czech Republic’s Largest Firms
The legal landscape is shifting as Czech law aligns itself with E.U. guidelines, but a strengthening market and foreign investment are on the horizon.
Indigenous Firms Lawyers
Koci�n S�lc Balast�k 44
Balcar, Polansky and spol. 27
Sodomka Soucek Jindra Mokry Havel & Partners 25
Proch�zka Randl Kubr 22
Brzobohat� Broz & Honsa 16
Foreign Firms Lawyers
White & Case, Feddersen 44
Weil, Gotshal & Manges 25
Altheimer & Gray 24
Allen & Overy 22
Clifford Chance P�nder 22
Sources: The European Legal 500 (Legalease), The National Law Journal

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